White House scrambles amid fears of coronavirus resurgence during George Floyd protests

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For weeks, President Donald Trump has been eager to publicly turn the page on the coronavirus pandemic. Now fears are growing within the White House that the very thing that finally shoved the virus from center stage — mass protests over the death of George Floyd — may bring about its resurgence.

Trump this week has eagerly pronounced himself the “president of law and order” in response to the racial unrest that has swept across the nation, overshadowing the pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 105,000 Americans and imperiled his reelection prospects.

But political dangers for the president remain.

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Thousands of Americans — many without protective face masks — have jammed the nation’s streets over the past week in defiance of social distancing guidelines from governors and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The White House coronavirus task force, which has dramatically scaled back its operations as states reopen their economies, is scrambling to track the potential impact on infection rates.

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Any uptick in cases in the weeks ahead could slow the economic rebirth that Trump’s advisers believe he needs before he faces voters again in five months.

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