US reopening must happen even if it leads to more deaths and sickness from the coronavirus outbreak, according to President Donald Trump.
Trump wants US reopening on Tuesday. He suggested that Americans must begin returning to normal even if more people will die or get sick.
Trump said he is gearing up for the “phase two” of the US response to the coronavirus. A part of this next move is to break up the White House task force of public health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx.
The president acknowledged that US reopening would likely lead to more deaths and sickness.
“Will some people be affected? Yes. Will some people be affected badly? Yes,” Trump said. “But we have to get our country open and we have to get it open soon.”
Americans as “warriors”
Trump visited the factory of Honeywell International Inc. that produces medical masks in Phoenix. He stressed that the economic fallout can no longer sustain an extended shutdown.
He urged Americans to view themselves as “warriors” when they leave their homes.
Trump expressed his frustration about the recession that led to the unemployment of more than 30 million Americans. The US remains to have the largest coronavirus outbreak in the world. It recorded about 1.2 million infections and a death toll of more than 70,000 to date.
During a previous ABC News interview, Trump said shutting down the country was “the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make.”
“There’ll be more death,” he said. “The virus will pass, with or without a vaccine. And I think we’re doing very well on the vaccines but, with or without a vaccine, it’s going to pass, and we’re going to be back to normal.”
“But it’s been a rough process. There is no question about it,” Trump said. “I think our economy is going to be raging” in 2021.
Trump asked states to relax social distancing measures and allow businesses to reopen. However, he noted that they should do it “safely.”
Without wearing a face mask, Trump toured the Honeywell plant with only safety goggles. His campaign songs like Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the USA” and Guns N’ Roses’s “Live and Let Die” were playing on loud speakers.
Senior White House officials were also not wearing masks during the tour. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend wearing masks when social distancing is not possible. Meanwhile, factory workers, press members, and other support staff did.
Trump said that “doctors” did not tell him to shut down the economy “for a couple of years.”
“I created, with a lot of other very talented people and the people of our country, the greatest economy in the history of the world. The greatest that we’ve ever had,” Trump said. “And then one day they said, ‘we have to close our country.’ Well, now it’s time to open up.”
Virus as fire
Public health experts repeatedly warned that the US may suffer from a second wave of the disease if governments lift restrictions prematurely.
Trump believes the virus would disappear. He described it as a “fire” that could be extinguished “fast.”
He also disregarded two new predictions that suggested what would happen if the country removes shutdown orders too early. A Johns Hopkins University model reveals that deaths could become 3,000 per day by June 1. Moreover, a University of Washington analysis predicted that the US death toll could reach 135,000 by the beginning of August.
“These models have been so wrong from day one. Both on the low side and the upside. They’ve been so wrong, they’ve been so out of whack. And they keep making new models, new models and they’re wrong,” the president said.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that the Johns Hopkins model relied on “faulty assumptions” about mitigation efforts. The model did not mirror federal government projections.
“The people of our country are warriors,” Trump said of Americans. An analysis of polls by fivethirtyeight.com pointed out that some 69% of whom are “somewhat” or “very” worried about contracting COVID-19.
“Mike Pence and the task force have done a great job, but we’re now looking at a little bit of a different form and that form is safety and opening. And we’ll have a different group, probably, set up for that,” Trump said in Phoenix.