(WASHINGTON D.C.) — President Donald Trump is championing his efforts to reopen the American economy and strengthen the volatile stock market that has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking to ABC’s David Muir on Tuesday, the president admitted that “it’s possible there will be some” deaths due to states easing social distancing restrictions and lockdown measures.
President Trump says the additional deaths will be because “you won’t be locked into an apartment or a house or whatever it is” but maintained the death toll won’t be severe, adding, “we’re going to practice social distancing, we’re going to be washing hands, we’re going to be doing a lot of the things that we’ve learned to do over the last period of time.”
Overall, the president maintained, “Will some people be affected? Yes. Will some people be affected badly? Yes. But we have to get our country open and we have to get it open soon.”
The president also added that the reason why reopening the economy is so crucial is that social distancing and the steep job losses reported last month have led to drug overdoses and suicides.
President Trump also floated disbanding the task force of medical experts in the near future due to the country being “in the next stage of the battle.”
The president also remained confident that COVID-19 will vanish all on its own, saying, “There’ll be more death, that 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.”
Doctor Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, was critical of the push to get the economy back on track and said during a Monday interview on CNN that states have a balancing act of “how many deaths and how much suffering are you willing to accept to get back to what you want to be, some form of normality, sooner rather than later.”
A new model out of the University of Washington says that, by August, the nation will have suffered close to 135,000 deaths — far more than the 116,000 military deaths the United States suffered in the first World War.
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