On Monday, Donald Trump stated that his administration would work to allow states to resume activities amid the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the virus continuing to spread and American lives being at risk Trump stated that the “U.S. wasn’t built to be shut down.”
“Our public health experts, who are terrific, are studying the variation and the disease across the country, and we will be using data to recommend new protocols to allow local economies to cautiously resume their activity at the appropriate time,” Trump told reporters in the White House briefing room Monday evening.
“Our country wasn’t built to be shut down,” Trump added. “This is not a country that was built for this.”
Trump’s latest remarks come just one week after he announced social distancing for American’s public life. Trump has made several comments over recent days that he will soon loosen those guidelines despite the numbers of those infected by the coronavirus continuing to grow.
According to John Hopkins so far, the coronavirus has sickened nearly 40,000 Americans. The virus has also had a devastating impact on the economy as non-essential businesses are being forced to shut down.
Some states have stepped up and taken their own steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 by closing businesses and schools, ordering restaurants to offer customers take out only and issuing “stay home” orders.
Trump claimed on Monday that the U.S. economy would be “up and running” quicker than three or four months.
“America will again, and soon, be open for business,” Trump said.
“This was a medical problem,” Trump added. “We are not going to let it turn into a long-lasting financial problem.”
Trump did, however, acknowledge that the death toll would rise in the U.S. and that the situation would worsen.
He added that businesses may not be able to reopen within a week but said it would be “soon.”
“I’m not looking at months,” he said. “I can tell you right now.”
The stock market has plummeted because of mounting fears over the virus and unemployment rates grow as workers are laid off. Trump’s main concern here may not be the plummeting economy and protecting American’s, but instead how all of this is affecting his reelection bid.
However, loosening restrictions could quickly put lives in danger and put him at odds with the nation’s top health experts.
On Monday, Trump was asked if he would heed the advice of public health experts such as Drs. Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci if they recommended the guidelines be kept in place for longer. Trump tap-danced around the question then insisted he would keep the measures in place for “several months.”
“Well you’ll see what happens,” Trump said. “It’s a great question but we can do two things at one time.”
“Parts of our country are very lightly affected,” Trump continued, pointing to states like Nebraska, Idaho, and Iowa. “Why would we close down 100 percent of the country?”
Trump’s claims of re-opening the nation for business comes just as California, New York, Illinois, Oregon, Ohio, Michigan, and West Virginia have issued stay home orders and shut down all non-essential businesses.
Several of those state governors have spoken out about the need for changes in daily life that could be necessary for months.
On Monday, Vice President Mike Pence urged Americans to respect state and local restrictions that are in many cases tougher than those imposed by the Trump administration.
“We made it clear to the governors that this president and this administration fully supports decisions that governors are making in communities and states that are particularly impacted by the spread of the coronavirus and we are grateful for their efforts,” Pence said.