President Donald Trump has said that he wants the "country opened" by Easter, despite all the warnings from health experts about the spread of coronavirus. While speaking during a virtual Town Hall hosted by Fox News, Trump stated that he "would love to have the country opened up, and just raring to go, by Easter." He then added, "I think it's possible, why not?"
Vice President Mike Pence participated in the Q-and-A as well, and confirmed that there has never been any conversation regarding putting the county on "lockdown." Pence stated, "I can tell you that at no point has the White House Coronavirus Task Force discussed a nationwide lockdown." Pence later addressed how he and his task force plan to handle things moving forward, saying, "We'll focus on our most vulnerable, but putting America back to work will also be a priority, in weeks not months." Trump and Pence's comments have been getting some pushback on social media, where many users are very critical of their plan.
As our Coronavirus response continues to be locally executed, state managed, and federally supported, President @realDonaldTrump has forged a seamless partnership with our Nation's Governors. pic.twitter.com/qdklm7DSsO— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) March 24, 2020
"It would be okay if Trump had said, "By Easter, we will have enough tests and medical supplies to effectively test and isolate people with #COVID19." But he didn't. This ostensibly pro-life president wants to let the virus just do its thing," journalist Julia Ioffe tweeted.
"This needs to be fact-checked in real time. Fox News is doing us all a disservice by giving Trump an opportunity to spread false statements without aggressively fact-checking him," added CNN contributor Renato Mariotti.
After Birx tries to compare the situation to 1918, President Trump comes in and says it's no comparison because the Spanish Flu had 50% mortality. In fact the Spanish Flu had roughly 2% mortality. pic.twitter.com/VvRqyQok2L— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) March 24, 2020
"The stakes in this election couldn't be higher. Donald Trump is wholly unfit to lead this nation — and that has become even clearer in the last few weeks. We have to vote him out of the White House," said Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
"Trump will allow people to die from the Coronavirus before he will let it kill his business. This is what happens when you have a president who puts his self-interest ahead of the greater good," added author Tony Schwartz.
At this time, medical experts continue to encourage U.S. citizens to practice social distancing, and regularly washing their hands, to help limit the spread of coronavirus.