Donald Trump has been outspoken on his goal to reopen the American economy, despite the US being the new epicenter of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
US President Donald Trump is eager to reopen the American economy by early May, according to a number of officials who are close to the president.
The US is the epicenter of the global COVID-19 outbreak, with more than 583,000 cases of the virus and over 23,000 deaths. Various states within the country have taken preventive measures against the spread of the virus by canceling major events, closing businesses, and imposing social distancing rules.
Trump is aware of the potential ramifications of lifting the current stay-at-home restrictions, but a senior administration official recently stated that the president is planning on reopening the economy by May 1.
White House aides have cautioned Trump not to halt the current social distancing guidelines, warning if the restrictions are lifted too early, public health faces a serious threat.
“Reopening is both an economic and a public health question, and I’m unwilling to divorce the two. You can’t ask the people of this state or this country to choose between lives lost and dollars gained,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on April 11.
However, Trump cannot reopen the economy alone. He gets a say in the decision, but the final move is up to state officials and the public.
The president said that he has looked at a variety of factors and consulted with health officials while considering the economic reopening, describing it as the “toughest” decision of his administration.
The final decision “will be based on a lot of facts and instincts,” Trump said during a phone call with Fox News.
The reopening of the economy will be slow and gradual, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Trump administration’s top infectious disease specialist.
During an interview with CNN on April 12, Fauci referred to the reopening of the economy as a “rolling re-entry.”
“It’s not going to be a light switch,” he said.
According to government officials, the plan is to only open certain industries, while others remain closed. Officials are still working to determine the safest way to go about the plan.
“Be ready, big things are happening. No excuses!” said Trump in a Tweet on April 12.