Melania Trump recently posted a video on Twitter in which she thanked senior citizens across the U.S. for doing their part to mitigate the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, her husband wants the country to rush back to work, likely spreading the virus and putting the elderly back in the cross hairs. But there seems to be a mismatch in messaging. Perhaps she didn't get the memo?
Unlike her husband's communications to the country, Melania Trump's message to seniors was sober, measured, and in line with the claims of health officials:
"While you may be missing friends and family during this time, my husband and I want to thank you for listening to caregivers' instructions and following CDC guidelines."
The tone almost feels bizarre after four weeks of of virus press briefing chaos.
Greetings to our American seniors. The changes in our everyday lives will not last forever & we will be able to vis… https://t.co/doFiKRzw1i— Melania Trump 45 Archived (@Melania Trump 45 Archived)1586959201.0
Toward the end of the video, Mrs. Trump gives a parting assurance:
"All of America is working to keep you healthy and safe."
The allegiance to health officials evident in Melania Trump's statement does not align so well with her husband's statements nor the plans of his Republican colleagues in Congress, however.
Back in late February, Trump happily criticized the CDC and proudly elaborated on budget cuts he'd made before the virus was ever on U.S. soil.
What's more, with the rate of spread and national death toll slowing after topping 27,000, Trump and other Republicans on Capitol Hill are hankering to get America "back to normal" as quickly as possible.
Republican Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana recently told Fox News that he's willing to relax restrictions despite knowing full well that this would cause increased rates of the virus.
"Every politician, myself included sometimes, is just dancing around the issue. The American people get it. We've gotta reopen, and when we do, the [virus] is gonna spread faster."
"And we've gotta be ready for it."
As for the elderly, Kennedy thinks they should stay inside and hope for the best.
"Encourage your elderly and those with pre-existing conditions to stay quarantined and provide them with financial support. Wear masks, try to socially distance."
And how can we forget Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick claiming that grandparents would gladly risk their lives for the sake of "their grandchildren's economic future."
Officials, however, have warned that a hasty return could spell disaster.
Crystal Watson, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security laid it out, USA Today reports.
"We can't move into the next phase of response before we are able to understand where this virus is, who has it and to make sure to isolate cases."
"Without that, we won't be able to sufficiently control the virus."
To not "sufficiently control the virus" will bring a return to problems we have already seen: rapidly increasing cases of the virus, overwhelmed ICUs in hospitals, and a disproportionate fatality rate for the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions--the very people Melania just thanked and assured.
Twitter was a shrewd observer of the irony.
@FLOTUS your husband is most definitely not working to keep them safe sorry— ❤️the famous rick grimes❤️Dianne Wyntet (@❤️the famous rick grimes❤️Dianne Wyntet)1586959428.0
@FLOTUS Meanwhile Republican representative and governors are willing to sacrifice these same senior citizens to "open the economy."— 🌊 David Paul (@🌊 David Paul)1586959321.0
@FLOTUS https://t.co/zKk3ofmSv0— BON (@BON)1586959246.0
@FLOTUS https://t.co/X3VT2RLKJh— Vote Blue 🇺🇸🇺🇸 (@Vote Blue 🇺🇸🇺🇸)1586959579.0
Ultimately, the return to work and daily living for many Americans will depend on the governors of each state, despite Trump's claims of "total authority."
Too bad we can't even rely on the federal government to provide specific guidance for how that roll out would work.
Although, on second thought, considering who's in charge, perhaps that's for the best.
For a deeper look into the Trump family's rise to power, check out American Oligarchs, available here.