Citing No Evidence, Trump Says Coronavirus Restrictions Could Lead To Fatalities
By Staff, Agencies
US President Donald Trump claimed Tuesday that coronavirus restrictions, which have shut down businesses in many places across the country, could themselves lead to fatalities.
"We have to get our country back to work. Our country wants to be back at work," he told Fox News Channel. "This cure is worse than the problem. Again, people, many people - in my opinion more people - are going to die if we allow this to continue. We have to go back to work. Our people want to go back to work."
Trump, however, did not indicate what evidence he had to support the assertion.
He insisted that he wants the coronavirus lockdown relaxed in the United States by mid-April, warning that keeping the measures in place could "destroy" the country.
"A lot of people agree with me. Our country -- it's not built to shut down," he said on Fox News. "You can destroy a country this way by closing it down."
"I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter," Trump said. Easter is on April 12.
Meanwhile, social distancing and quarantine measures have been instituted across much of the United States, bringing the world's biggest economy to an abrupt halt.
Health experts advised that the measures are the only way to prevent the easily transmitted, potentially fatal illness from multiplying uncontrollably.
In the chat show format interview with Fox at the White House, Trump made it clear that he thinks the shutdown has been an overreaction.
"We lose thousands and thousands of people a year to the flu. We don't turn the country off," Trump argued.
"We lose much more than that to automobile accidents. We didn't call up the automobile companies to say, 'Stop making cars. We don't want any cars anymore,'" he said.
With his November reelection campaign also on hold, Trump is eager to get back into the fray. One of his main claims to a second term, prior to the coronavirus outbreak, was the strong economy and low unemployment.
"We can't lose a Boeing, we can't lose some of these companies," he said. "If we lose those companies we're talking about hundreds of thousands of jobs, millions of jobs."