Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

Trump wants to reopen country in a few weeks

President Donald Trump tells America about his timeline for getting people back to work during a pandemic. He made his comments during a Fox News Virtual Town Hall today. Photo courtesy of Fox News.

President Trump wants the country back to normal by Easter Sunday. That is just over two weeks away.

“We have to go back to work. Our people want to go back to work,” Trump said during a Fox News coronavirus virtual town hall in the Rose Garden today. 

Despite medical experts stating that this could further spread the virus, Trump believes his timeline would work. 

“I think it’s possible, why isn’t it? I mean, we’ve never closed the country before and we’ve had some pretty bad [flus] and we’ve had some pretty bad viruses,” he said.

Trump said it would be possible to reopen the country this quickly if all the current precautions of social-distancing, handwashing and limited work interactions continued to be practiced once most people head back to work.

Trump was joined by Vice President Mike Pence and two other  members of the coronavirus taskforce, Dr. Deborah Birx and Surgeon General Jerome Adams in what has become a daily address to the nation regarding the Administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic that has sickened over 399,500 people in 166 countries with 17,902 reported fatalities. 

Some medical experts and high ranking republicans were quick to voice their disagreement to allowing millions of people to return to the workforce in two weeks while the pace of infection was rapidly increasing nationwide.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, offered caution in reaching for a fixed time to loosen restrictions regarding social-distancing.

 “You can look at a date but you’ve got to be very flexible .. and evaluate the feasibility of what you’re trying to do,’ he said  during today’s press briefing. 

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming,  a House Republican leader,  warned that trying to jumpstart the economy again too soon could prove disastrous, overwhelming an already stretched healthcare system with overcrowding at hospitals and overworked healthcare workers.

Meanwhile in New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo expressed his frustration with the Trump administration for sending only 400 ventilators to New York, the current epicenter of the disease, when the state needs thousands right away. Dr. Birx confirmed that 60 percent of all new cases were now originating in New York City  and recommends anyone who has visited the metro area recently to immediately self-quarantine for 14 days. 

The US currently has almost 50,000 people who have tested positive for the disease with half of that amount in New York State alone. Nationwide, 615 deaths have resulted from the respiratory complications caused  by the virus.

Medical personnel, delivery persons and food suppliers are the only ones encouraged to go to work. While many people have lost or are about to lose their jobs, health experts say this ongoing limited interaction is the only way to “flatten the curve”  of the disease so  not to overwhelm healthcare resources.

But President Trump thinks the country can do both – get back to work and flatten the curve by practicing the White House-issued 15-day guidelines to slow the spread of the disease which include aggressive hand washing and not shaking hands.

Mike Pence said at no point did  the task force consider a nationwide lockdown or a federal stay-at-home order as is currently being enforced by governors. President Trump agreed that a prolonged lockdown is not economically viable, that the “country is not built to be shut down” and “many, many people” agree with him to restart the economy back up as soon as possible.

When asked about the risk of reopening the economy so soon and the potential harm people may suffer as a result, Trump alluded to potential suicide rates climbing if he doesn’t do so.

“Many more people will die if we allow this to continue,” he said. “If we delay this thing out, you’re going to lose more people than you’re losing with the situation as you know it [now].”

 


Tags


Other Stories in Special Report: Shutdown: The Coronavirus

COVID-19 fuels fruit packers strike in Washington State

Madeline Gunderson May 29, 2020

Boston springs slowly back to life

Thomas Hengge May 28, 2020

A dictatorship called COVID-19

Alpha Kamara May 28, 2020

During pandemic, Rio de Janeiro residents fear police

Marina Guimaraes May 27, 2020

Recovering from drugs during a pandemic

Kyla Milberger May 26, 2020

  Covid-19 takes away the communal joy at Eid-al-Fitr celebration

Narkwor Kwablaa May 25, 2020

Beloved old school game sees boom in numbers during coronavirus quarantine

Michael Yang May 15, 2020

Coronavirus leaves the fate of some beloved New York events uncertain

Emily Glass May 15, 2020

South Africa’s lockdown exposes inequalities

Kathleen Taylor May 14, 2020

Churchgoers find spiritual growth through virtual services 

Harrison Tsui May 14, 2020

” I’m working with COVID patients tonight”

Margaret Guzman May 14, 2020

Singles connect on Tinder to fight quarantine blues 

Yaroslava Bondar May 14, 2020

Jewish traditions during a pandemic

Sydney Fishman May 13, 2020

The Bible and Coronavirus

Jonathan Sarabia May 13, 2020

Doctor uses social media to give advice and hope

Sope Aluko May 12, 2020

First Sandy, Now COVID: Lower East Side Activists Grapple With Construction for Climate Project

Izzie Ramirez May 12, 2020

Dating during a pandemic

Bessie Liu May 12, 2020

The last reponders

Shiyu Xu May 11, 2020

When the pandemic hits a shelter for abused boys 

Amanda Perez Pintado May 11, 2020

Portugal contains the coronavirus despite Spain’s woes

Catarina Lamelas Moura May 11, 2020

Warm weather brings crowds to Prospect Park

Bessie Liu May 11, 2020

New York coronavirus numbers continue to fall

Jonathan Sarabia May 10, 2020

Living through the pandemic while a loved one is behind bars

Amanda Perez Pintado May 10, 2020

Pandemic ends all high school senior year traditions

Jonathan Sarabia May 10, 2020

Coronavirus might have caused the death of many children who were misdiagnosed 

Ximena Del Cerro May 9, 2020

Farmers destroy staggering amounts of food even as food lines grow

Karen Camela Watson May 9, 2020

Coronavirus pandemic threatens border towns in Mexico

Sydney Fishman and Ximena Del Cerro May 9, 2020

Pence’s press secretary tests positive for Covid-19

Shiyu Xu May 8, 2020

During pandemic NYC tenants in limbo

John DiLillo May 8, 2020

Llamas could be coronavirus heroes

Catarina Lamelas Moura May 8, 2020

Lawmakers, Legal Experts Clash Over Much Needed Business Interruption Insurance Coverage for Small Businesses

James Duffy May 8, 2020

Rent relief in NY, JetBlue’s flyover and Trump’s valet tests positive for coronavirus in today’s news

Amanda Perez Pintado May 7, 2020

Coronavirus tears through the Navajo Nation 

Amanda Perez Pintado May 7, 2020

In Singapore, spaces close, but restaurants open

Yifan Yu May 6, 2020

Press secretary calls Fauci testifying before congress “publicity stunt”

Kathleen Taylor May 6, 2020

Harry Potter and the Magical Malady of the Movies

Ahad Sanwari May 6, 2020

Trump speaks to human loss, Cuomo lashes out at President’s comments

Catarina Lamelas Moura May 5, 2020

PPE in the city

Narkwor Kwabla May 5, 2020

Boring Politics is Good Politics – Especially in a Pandemic

Serafina Smith May 5, 2020

Stuck: Life under quarantine in Rio de Janeiro

Marina Guimaraes May 5, 2020

New York’s Emptiness

Maria Abreu May 5, 2020

In an Airbnb Room During Lockdown in Jamaica, Queens

Dayo Paul May 4, 2020

What Temporary Means: Portraits of family at home

Guillermo Manning May 4, 2020

Stockholm Stays Open

Tatiana Kireeva May 4, 2020

NYC now producing its own coronavirus test kits

Maureen Mullarkey May 3, 2020

Miss you, mom: Spending Ramadan together through a screen

Maznah Shehzad May 3, 2020

Life in front of a screen

Patricio Zenklussen May 3, 2020

Coronavirus and the Shincheonji

Bessie Liu May 3, 2020

It’s The Little Things

Sope Aluko May 3, 2020

Days In, Days Out: A doctor’s life during Covid-19

Elsa Benamouzig May 2, 2020