'Cure can't be worse than problem', announces Trump as he vows to reopen US economy amid COVID-19 crisis

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Mar 24, 2020, 08.52 PM(IST) Edited By: Bharat Sharma

US President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

As the virus is expected to peak in the United States soon, Trump is attempting to avoid an economic meltdown while hoping to contain the virus

As global leaders scramble to choose between retaining economic activity to prevent the halt of growth and locking down their countries in order to prevent an outbreak, United States President Donald Trump has chosen to strike a balance.

As the virus is expected to peak in the United States soon, Trump is attempting to avoid an economic meltdown while hoping to contain the virus.

"Our country was not built to be shut down," the President announced on Monday. "We are going to be opening up our country for business because our country was meant to be open".

"We are going to get it all going again very soon," he said. Additionally, he openly said that he was not looking at months, but only a few weeks.

The United States recently recorded over 40,000 cases. 100 deaths were also witnessed, a first for the country since coronavirus reached the nation.

Also read: New York state accounts for over 5% of global coronavirus cases, numbers expected to increase

One of the members of Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force, Dr Deborah Birx claimed that the virus was spreading five times faster in New York than other states.

The president has claimed that things are “bad”, but is sceptical about social distancing.

 "If it were up to the doctors, they may say let's keep it shut down, let's shut down the entire world", he claimed.

The conflict has brought out the differing approaches that can be undertaken during a pandemic, which is to lock down the country to save lives, or to forego this in favour of protecting economic growth.

CNN reported that the administration is considering limiting work to younger people, who are less prone to critical complications.

In the face of potential unemployment, the administration is facing a dilemma. 

However, most states in the United States have imposed directed people to stay at home, with businesses closed, and schools shut.

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US President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, at the White House, March 23, 2020, in Washington, DC | AFP

 

The US healthcare system is currently ill-equipped to deal with the influx of patients.

The President insisted that “we can do two things at once”, implying that the country need not impose a lockdown and shut down the economy.

However, global trends have made it abundantly clear that there is no middle ground in a situation like this. Countries can either shut their societies down to contain the virus, or work as usual and risk infection.

The man at the helm of the president's task force: Dr Anthony Fauci, was nowhere to be seen alongside Trump. Instead, he attended meetings attacking the pandemic. 

Also read: Could United States become the next epicentre of COVID-19?

With the number of coronavirus cases rising rapidly, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the United States could become the next epicentre of the pandemic.

“A very large acceleration” in the number of coronavirus cases has been recorded recently.

Out of the new cases recorded in the last 24 hours, 85 per cent came from Europe and the United States. Out of these, 40 per cent cases alone came from the US.

Recently, the president tweeted out and reaffirmed his faith in Americans to aptly deal with the virus.

"Our people want to return to work," he said on Twitter. "They will practice Social Distancing and all else, and Seniors will be watched over protectively & lovingly. We can do two things together. THE CURE CANNOT BE WORSE (by far) THAN THE PROBLEM!"

Also read: COVID-19: Spain virus death toll rises by 514 to 2,696

(With inputs from agencies)