President Donald Trump on Thursday mapped out guidelines for reopening of the United States economy after battling a devastating coronavirus pandemic, which has seen more than 22 million unemployment, saying returning to normalcy is very necessary to help the economy pick up again.
This comes as Trump campaign to pressure China, with fellow Western leaders agreeing that Beijing has not been open enough on the origins of the virus that has infected more than 2.1 million people saw progress.
Considering the president’s re-election in November, Trump has been impatient to cancel the lockdown that has pulled 22 million people out of work in the world’s largest economy, although many leaders, both at home and abroad fear lifting lockdown restrictions prematurely may endanger more lives in the United States.
“Based on the latest data, our team of experts now agrees that we can begin the next front in our war. We’re opening up our country,” Trump told a news conference.
The United States recorded the highest COVID-19 deaths in the world, with almost 33,000 of the nearly 144,000 fatalities across the globe, yet is making haste to reopen the country.
Donald Trump said some states were free from the impact and can open “literally tomorrow.” Meanwhile, he referred to some sparsely populates states. “We have large sections of the country, right now, that can think about opening,” he said.
Trump reopening plan comes in three “phases” under which governors would determine how best to implement depending on their location and levels of infection.
Trump’s reopening plan was totally different from his previous calls for a sudden end to social distancing measures — as well as his earlier call for the nation to be fully open in time for Easter on April 12.
Trump also backtracked from a controversial “total authority” statement, by giving governors the space to decide what to do.
Hours earlier, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, the US epicenter of the virus, said he was extending the shutdown in the state until May 15 despite decrease in cases.
“I would like to see that infection rate get down even more,” Cuomo said, reporting that 606 people had died in the last day, the lowest number in 10 days.
Britain, which implemented shutdown later than most of continental Europe, said it would extend its lockdown for at least another three weeks. Its daily death toll spiked to 861.