President Trump said Tuesday he would “love to have the country opened up” by Easter which is April 12.
“It’s such an important day for other reasons, but I will make it an important day for this: I would love to have the country opened up, and they are just raring to go, by Easter,” the president said in a Fox News virtual town hall from the White House Rose Garden. “We’re opening up this incredible country. Because we have to do that. I would love to have it open by Easter.”
On March 16, Trump laid out a 15-day plan for Americans to follow. But in recent days, Trump has suggested that the timetable might need to ramped up.
“Our people want to return to work,” Trump wrote Monday on Twitter. “They will practice Social Distancing and all else, and Seniors will be watched over protectively & lovingly. We can do two things together. THE CURE CANNOT BE WORSE (by far) THAN THE PROBLEM! Congress MUST ACT NOW. We will come back strong!”
In the Rose Garden, Trump said Americans are killed by all kinds of things and we don’t shut down the country.
“We lose thousands of people a year to the flu. We never turn the country off,” Trump said, echoing what he said Monday night at a White House briefing. “We lose much more than that to automobile accidents. We didn’t call up the automobile companies and say, ‘Stop making cars. We don’t want any cars anymore.’ We have to get back to work.”
“We’ve never closed down the country from the flu.”
Trump said when Americans return to work, they will still need to take precautions.
“We can socially distance ourselves and go to work, and you have to work a little bit harder. And you can clean your hands five times more than you used to. You don’t have to shake hands anymore, with people. That might be something good coming out of this,” Trump said.
In Monday’s briefing, Trump said tough decisions need to be made.
“We have two very, very powerful alternatives that we have to take into consideration,” Trump said. “Life is fragile and economies are fragile.”
“If it were up to the doctors, they may say, ‘Let’s keep it shut down. Let’s shut down the entire world because again you’re up to 150 countries,'” Trump said, when asked whether any doctors on the task force agreed with his suggestion that social distancing guidelines will pay off in weeks not months.
“So, let’s shut down the entire world and when we shut it down, that’d be wonderful, and let’s keep it shut for a couple of years. We can’t do that,” Trump said.
The president also lauded health care professionals who have been conducting tens of thousands of tests for the coronavirus.
“We’ve done more tests in eight days than South Korea did in eight weeks,” Trump said. South Korea has been praised for its quick set-up for testing, but experts say that’s not the reason the Asian country was able to quickly flatten its curve of the infected.