White House announces more theme weeks

The White House announced three more weeks’ worth of messaging centered on specific themes Sunday, with the focus this week on US manufacturing.

The announcement came as public attention has continued to fall largely on questions about potential connections between Russia and President Donald Trump’s campaign as well as debate over a GOP bill that would significantly reshape the nation’s health care system.

White House spokeswoman Helen Aguirre Ferré told reporters the administration had dubbed the week starting Monday “Made in America” week. The week after would be “American Heroes Week,” followed by “American Dreams Week,” with the details of the latter remaining under wraps for now.

Ferré said this week would start with a showcase of US products from all 50 states on Monday, a proclamation from Trump on Wednesday about the importance of making products in America and his participation Saturday in the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford in Newport News, Virginia, an aircraft carrier Trump visited in March.

Ferré said the heroes week would include a focus on service members.

Asked why there hadn’t been a health care week, a White House official briefing reporters said, “Every day and every week, in a sense, is a health care week. It’s something that enormous White House and administration resources have been devoted to since day one.”

In matters of policy, an official also said imposing import tariffs to bolster US-made products was “on the table.”

The White House has recently tried to set its messaging agenda for a given week around a specific policy area — devoting weeks in June to sets of events on infrastructure and workforce development, for example. But those messages have largely been overtaken by other news, oftentimes generated by the President himself.

During “infrastructure week,” for example, Trump visited the Department of Transportation, where he pledged to reform the permitting process for infrastructure projects, and hosted a summit at the White House on the subject of the day.

But the theme was quickly overshadowed by the President’s tweets criticizing London Mayor Sadiq Khan in the wake of terrorist attacks in the city. The week ended with the national media consumed by the blockbuster testimony of fired FBI Director James Comey and how it might affect the federal probe into allegations of collusion by the Trump campaign in Russian efforts to influence last year’s election.

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