On Tuesday, President Trump said he wants the country to be back to usual business by Easter, though the coronavirus outbreak is continuing to grow.
“I would love to have the country opened up and raring to go by Easter,” said Trump during an interview with Fox News.
Public health experts have warned that removing restrictions too early may cause hospitals to become overwhelmed and eventually lead to both a larger number of deaths and more damage to the economy, according to NBC News. Trump disagreed with this idea on Tuesday, saying that if Americans stay home there will be a greater death toll.
“This cure is worse than the problem,” he said, adding, “in my opinion, more people are going to die if we allow this to continue.”
According to a White House official, Trump views Easter as a time where the economy will be moving again and not as a time when things will be opening up. This would still require loosening restrictions at an earlier date.
Trump believes that people can balance social distancing and good hygiene to continue to control the virus while getting back to work.
On Tuesday, he showed frustration with the impact that having so many Americans stay home is having on the economy. He also compared coronavirus to the flu.
“We lose thousands, and thousands of people a year to the flu, we don’t turn the country off every year,” said Trump.
Some administration officials believe that the White House has allowed public health experts too much say on policy and the officials are eager to get the economy rolling again.
Public health officials have urged Americans to stay home in an effort to avoid making the kinds of mistakes that have created the disastrous situation in Italy.
Though Trump would prefer if people got back to work as soon as possible, many mayors and governors are calling for closures and asking people to stay home.
The governor of Michigan announced a three week order to refrain from public or private gatherings with people outside of their household, including some exceptions.
On Tuesday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo noted that the health guidelines should be kept in place. He said, “we will not put a dollar figure on human life.”
"We can have a public health strategy that is consistent with an economic one," he said in a tweet. "No one should be talking about social Darwinism for the sake of the stock market."