The United States has been hit pretty badly by Covid-19, with over 43,000 people infected and 545 deaths.
It is the country with the third-highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases, after China and Italy.
However, at the rate that they are dealing with the situation, it seems like they might just end up climbing up to the second-place spot soon.
Why you may ask?
Well, that is because everyone’s favourite president, Donald Trump, is pretty much ignoring the advice given by top health advisors, and planning to reopen America for business soon.
America Will Soon Be Open For Business
Of course, almost every country has faced the painful economic impact that Covid-19 has brought about.
The U.S. economy has certainly been hit as well and is even said to have entered a contraction.
In order to fix that, President Donald Trump announced yesterday, 23 Mar, that he is considering how to reopen the US economy when its 15-day shutdown ends next week.
“America will again and soon be open for business,” Trump said in a White House news conference. “We are not going to let it turn into a long-lasting financial problem.”
When asked if “soon” meant a matter of weeks or of months, Trump replied with, “I’m not looking at months.”
His doctors and health advisors don’t agree with his plans, as the number of coronavirus cases in the country has been shooting up rapidly over the past few weeks.
“The doctors, if it was up to the doctors, they’d say ‘let’s shut down the entire world,’” Trump said at one point during the conference.
Plans To Resume Economic Activity After 15-Day Period
About a week ago, Trump issued certain guidelines to slow down the spread of the virus in the U.S. over a period of 15 days, which all Americans were expected to follow. It included avoiding huge group gatherings of more than 10 people and curbing non-essential travel.
They were also told to avoid eating at bars, restaurants and public food courts.
The 15 days began not too long ago, on 16 Mar, and it is supposed to end next Tuesday.
Trump took to Twitter to say that they would make a decision on which way to go after the 15-day period comes to an end.
During the conference on Monday, he told reporters that it was possible to resume economic activity in states with relatively low rates of infection, citing Nebraska, Idaho and Iowa as examples, while continuing to work on the hot zones in other states like New York.
He also added that implementing another shutdown “causes other problems, and maybe it causes much bigger problems than the problem we’re talking about now.”
Mixed Reactions To Trump’s New Decision
Trump has the support of his senior economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who did an interview with Fox News on Monday.
“The president is right. The cure can’t be worse than the disease. We’re going to have to make some difficult trade-offs,” he said.
However, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham is concerned that lifting restrictions and guidelines might not be the best idea, even if it will help the economy.
“My advice would be to follow medical advice to contain the virus,” he said to reporters on Capitol Hill.
“If we can take some pressure off the economy, fine, but my primary focus is to make sure the virus is contained and defeated. And we’re just going to have to suffer through the economic consequences.”
Meanwhile, a total of 14 of U.S. states have implemented stay-at-home orders for residents, in which they are not supposed to leave their homes unless necessary.
They include California, New Jersey, New York and Washington.
Although the number of Covid-19 cases in the U.S. is climbing up day by day, Trump still seems to believe that they have it all under control.
He insists that his administration is doing “really well” in handling the outbreak and even pointed out that other things, like the flu and car accidents, produce higher death rates every year.
“You look at automobile accidents, which are far greater than what we’re talking about. It doesn’t mean we’re talking about telling people not to drive cars,” he said.
I think the question he’s facing right now is: Money or your life?