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Trump wants US reopened by Easter as virus cases mount

US president says he wants to see economy 'raring to go' in 3 weeks as New York warns height of state cases 2-3 weeks away

Michael Hernandez   | 24.03.2020
Trump wants US reopened by Easter as virus cases mount


President Donald Trump Tuesday said Tuesday he "would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go" in less than three weeks as the U.S. recorded 600 coronavirus deaths and state officials warn the worst is yet to come.

"I would love to have it open by Easter," Trump said during a Fox News town hall meeting, The holiday is celebrated April 12 this year -- 19 days from Tuesday. "I think it's possible. Why isn't it? We've never closed the country before and we've had some pretty bad flus and we've had some pretty bad viruses, and I think it's absolutely possible."

The U.S. economy has nosedived as the coronavirus pandemic has spread within its borders, with all three stock indices recording major losses following all-time highs earlier this year. The losses have been fueled, in large part, by efforts to limit travel and individual interactions with businesses to rein in the virus known as COVID-19.

"We have to get our country back to work," Trump said as he braces for re-election in November's nationwide polls.

"This cure is worse than the problem," he added, referring to measures being implemented in states that include business closures and orders for residents to remain at home.

Trump's assessment came just hours after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo warned virus cases in his state are "spiking" with the worst to come.

"The apex is higher than we thought, and the apex is sooner than we thought. That is a bad combination of facts," Cuomo said during a televised news conference, warning the height of new infections could be reached in two to three weeks.

The number of hospital beds that will be required at the height of infections in New York state has been raised from 110,000 to 140,000 as the rate of new infections doubles roughly every three days, Cuomo said, warning that the virus is spreading like a "bullet train."

"That is a dramatic increase in the rate of infection," he warned. "We're not slowing it and it is accelerating on its own."

New York currently has nearly, 25,700 confirmed coronavirus, according to official state data.

That is about 10 times as much as California and Washington states, Cuomo said, imploring federal authorities to prioritize resources, including vital medical equipment like ventilators, for his state.

There are over 49,700 confirmed coronavirus cases, and 600 deaths in the U.S., according to a list being compiled by Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

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