President Trump on Tuesday called for the American economy to be up-and-running by Easter, countering more claims from various officials that the coronavirus pandemic may necessitate a months-long shutdown of economic activity.
The president expressed concerns that a massive economic downturn due to shutdowns could cause more deaths than the coronavirus:
"This cure is worse than the problem. Many people — in my opinion more people — are going to die if we allow this to continue. We have to go back to work. Our people want to go back to work."
Trump downplayed the insistence of many health officials that much of the American economy should be shuttered indefinitely to help combat the disease.
"We lose thousands and thousands of people a year to the flu. We don't turn the country off," the president said. "...We lose much more than that to automobile accidents. We don't call up the automobile companies and say stop making cars. We have to get back to work."
The president also voiced concerns that the U.S. would see "suicides by the thousands" if coronavirus is allowed to devastate the economy.
This year Easter falls on April 12.