US President Donald Trump spent Saturday playing golf at one of his family-owned resorts outside of Washington DC, in a move that US media outlets suggest is a signal to the public that it is right for the United States to return to normal activities amid the coronavirus pandemic, even in areas that are the hardest hit by the deadly disease. A photojournalist caught the moment as Trump left the White House for the resort.
The president headed out of the White House today. Seen here as he put on his glasses. Secret Service wearing masks. Credit to my colleague, photographer Joe Martin. pic.twitter.com/upDn5PedLp— Kelly O'Donnell (@KellyO) May 23, 2020
This was the first time that the 73-year-old Trump has engaged in his favorite leisure pastime since 8 March.
In another sign that Trump wants the country to reopen as a means of boosting business activity, the US president has resumed travelling across the country. This month he visited Arizona, Michigan and Pennsylvania, key swing states in the upcoming 2020 presidential election. On 22 May, Trump called on US state governors to reopen houses of worship – churches, temples, synagogues and mosques, which are currently shuttered to assist in slowing the spread of the disease. The president claims that lifting the health measures are essential, declaring: “in America, we need more prayer, not less” and threatening to override governors who refuse to do as he demands.
Trump, in the middle of a deadly and ongoing pandemic, has been actively promoting to reopen the United States solely as a means of bolstering the country’s economy, which has sustained severe losses during the lockdowns. Almost 39 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits since the country introduced safety measures to slow the spread of the virus. All states have made limited reopenings after a two-month shutdown, with various degrees of restrictions.