Coronavirus has caused an innumerable number of business to temporarily shut down amid calls for "social distancing," but now President Donald Trump has warned of "suicides by thousands" if those U.S. businesses do not reopen soon. While speaking in a televised Town Hall on Fox News this week, Trump made the statement, adding that the U.S. "wasn't built to be shut down."
"I don't want the cure be worse than the problem itself," Trump went on to say, adding that he "would love to have the country opened up, and just raring to go," by Easter. "I think it's possible, why not?" This came as PBS reported that the Trump administration also issued calls for continued social distancing, asking citizens to avoid groups of 10 or more for the next two weeks. Vice President Mike Pence participated in the Town Hall discussion as well, and addressed how his task force plans to handle things going forward. "We'll focus on our most vulnerable, but putting America back to work will also be a priority, in weeks not months," Pence stated.
Trump says a bad economy will mean "suicides by the thousands" as he argues for reopening businesses during the coronavirus outbreak pic.twitter.com/eViToYnqv0— Claudia Koerner (@ClaudiaKoerner) March 24, 2020
Trump's "suicide" comment has led to a lot of discussion on social media, with one Twitter user tweeting, "Trump says 'more people' will die of depression-driven suicide than THE CORONAVIRUS if the nation's economy isn't immediately opened up. This is such a vile, self-serving lie — in the face of hundreds of thousands or millions of potential virus deaths—it takes your breath away."
"The president of the United States just predicted 'suicide by the thousands' of people don't go back to work next week," someone else wrote. "Luckily Trump has no power whatsoever to get people to go back to work."
AP says “no evidence” for Trump’s claim that shut downs may lead to suicide
NIH finds suicides go up during recessions
Atlantic says suicide reached highest levels ever in years following Great Depression
Portland PD says suicide attempts up 23 percent in last week pic.twitter.com/lKXKqR8RrK— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) March 25, 2020
One user clarified the President Trump's statement, tweeting out, "President Trump warns of clinical nationwide depression if we continue to self-isolate en masse. 'No, I'm not talking about economic,' he says. 'What I'm talking about is people suffering massive depression. ... Where people commit suicide ... Where tremendous death happens.'"
Notably, the AP has stated that there is currently no evidence that Trump's suicide warning is factual.
If you or someone you know are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.
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