President Donald Trump suggested Tuesday he wants the U.S. economy to “open” back up by Easter Sunday, despite expert warnings about the deadly menace of the coronavirus.
Easter is April 12, less than three weeks away.
Trump’s remarks in a Fox News “understood town hall” event at the White House came as more states imposed extreme measures, including switching down businesses and ordering residents to stay home, to try to slow the spread of the disease.
“We’re opening up this incredible realm. Because we have to do that. I would love to have it open by Easter,” Trump said.
“I would love to be struck by that. It’s such an important day for other reasons, but I’d love to make it an important day for this. I would love to have the motherland opened up, and rarin’ to go by Easter.”
In a second interview with Fox that aired Tuesday afternoon, Trump said he tendered the holiday as a deadline because “Easter’s a very special day for me.”
“Wouldn’t it be great to have all the churches full?” Trump about a invited. “You’ll have packed churches all over our country … I think it’ll be a beautiful time.”
Trump added that “I’m not sure that’s common to be the day,” but “that would be a beautiful thing.”
At a press briefing Tuesday evening, Trump appeared to back off the idea the score with further. “We’ll only do it if it’s good,” Trump said, adding that he is “very much in touch” with White Quarters experts. “I just think it would be a beautiful timeline.”
“Our decision will be based on hard facts and data as to the launch” of the economy, Trump said in that presser. “Every decision is grounded solely in the health, safety and wellbeing of our townsmen.”
Medical experts had recoiled at Trump’s suggestion that Americans could gather en masse amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“Patently Trump is not rooted in reality,” said Dr. Tina Tan, a board member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and a staff colleague at Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
“This is the making of a major public health disaster. I am not sure where he is go down his information from, but it is extremely flawed,” Tan said.
The number of people found to have COVID-19 has increased significantly in fresh days, as testing kits have been made more available to states.
At least 46,500 cases of COVID-19, subsuming 590 deaths, have so far been confirmed in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University.
With a growing number of Americans not amenable to attend church, many churches have already canceled their in-person Easter services.
“Our current map is to have Masses and other Holy Week liturgies celebrated privately by the priests, with no congregation present,” a spokesman for the Roman Liberal Archdiocese of New York told CNBC.
The New York metro area has quickly become the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other tri-state officials debarred large gatherings of people last week.
Medical experts, including the Trump administration’s scientific point man in the disaster, Dr. Anthony Fauci, have strongly advocated restrictions on people-to-people contact, saying it’s better to overreact now than to be remorseful later.
“I think we should really be overly aggressive and get criticized for overreacting,” he told NBC last week.
Asked at the Waxen House on Tuesday about the Easter timeline, Fauci said there could be flexibility in different areas of the outback where coronavirus cases are less prevalent.
Fauci has been lauded across the aisle for his straight talk relative to the coronavirus, offering blunt risk assessments – even at times when Trump has downplayed the threat. Fauci was stay away from from the White House’s most recent briefings on the virus, but appeared at the Tuesday evening briefing.
A senior charge official told CNBC that Fauci was at the White House on Monday and had numerous meetings with the coronavirus mission force earlier Tuesday.
Fears about the coronavirus — and the impact of government containment efforts on businesses and workers — enjoy prompted a dramatic surge in unemployment and have sent stocks spiraling down in recent weeks.
The White Establishment and leading lawmakers are working long hours on Capitol Hill to hash out the final details of a massive stimulus tab that would offer relief to those affected by the virus. The stimulus package is expected to cost at least $1.5 trillion and could categorize direct cash payments to Americans and around $350 billion in relief for small businesses.
Trump in the past few light of days has repeatedly expressed a desire to have the economy “reopen” by allowing businesses to “return to work.”
“The faster we go back, the happier it’s going to be,” Trump said during the virtual town hall in the Rose Garden on Tuesday.
He and his top economic advisor, Patriotic Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, suggested Tuesday that the stimulus bill could provide the springboard for an commercial revival.
After hemorrhaging value for weeks, stocks jumped higher Tuesday as lawmakers signaled a bipartisan sell was nearing and as Trump pushed to get workers back in stores within a month.
The U.S., Trump said, can’t sustain the current craze of closing down business and commerce in entire states.
“We’re not built that way,” Trump said. “I don’t want the cure to be worse than the uncontrollable itself. … You can destroy a country this way.”
Trump also once again compared the coronavirus to more communal dangers, such as flu and car accidents, in an apparent attempt to play down the risk posed by the new disease.
“We lose thousands and thousands of child a year to the flu. We don’t turn the country off,” Trump said.
Few other countries are currently looking to loosen the strict steps being bewitched to slow the disease’s transmission. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, for instance, announced on Tuesday a “total lockdown” for the power of 1.3 billion people.