Although the number of coronavirus cases in the United States continues to rise, Donald Trump appears to be committed to reopening the economy. As reported by Breitbart, the president said during a Fox News town hall on Tuesday that he hopes to revive the U.S. economy by Easter.
“I’d love to have it open by Easter,” he told Fox News moderator Bill Hemer, meaning the economy would reopen on April 12.
According to The Hill, Trump expressed his belief that the U.S. economy is not designed for shutdowns.
“It’s not built to shut down. Our people are full of vim and vigor and energy. They don’t want to be locked in a house or an apartment or some space.”
The president said he feared that the country would be destroyed by the shutdown and pointed to the period of prosperity just three weeks ago before the coronavirus pandemic swept the world.
If the economy were to resume, Trump told Hemer that social distancing would be vital to keeping businesses and the public safe from contracting the virus.
“We can socially distance ourselves and go to work,” the president said, noting that increased handwashing and a cessation of handshaking are two possible ways to curb the spread of the virus.
According to Trump, restricting Americans was “one of the most difficult decisions” he has ever made.
“You’re basically turning off the country. I wasn’t happy about it, and I also knew I had to do it.”
"I would to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter." pic.twitter.com/MOHuwlsInR
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) March 24, 2020
Although public health experts continue to warn against the dangers of the coronavirus continuing to spread throughout the country, Trump suggested during a recent press briefing that more people could die from a halted economy than from COVID-19.
Speaking to Hemer, Trump pointed to the yearly death tolls from the common flu and vehicular accidents to justify reopening the economy.
“We lose thousands and thousands of people to the flu,” he said. “We don’t turn the country off. We lose much more than that to automobile accidents.”
Despite Trump’s comparisons, CNN wrote that Dr. Anthony Fauci warned against comparing COVID-19 to the flu and called it a “false equivalency,” pointing to increased frequency of fatalities stemming from coronavirus.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Trump’s former homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, warned that putting an end to social distancing without first reducing coronavirus cases could lead to thousands of deaths. Amid the pandemic, Bossert has remained firm in his position that the U.S. must slow the spread of the virus to avoid ending up like European countries such as Italy, which have been ravaged by its impact.