President Trump had said he would like to see the US go back to business by Easter, or on April 12, prompting epidemiologists to raise an alarm that prematurely easing restrictions would kill 1.2 million Americans.
As of today, the US has overtaken China and Italy with most number of infected population, at 85,000.
Trump said he wants a resurrected US economy by Easter saying a crippled America and forced social isolation would inflict more harm than the spread of the virus.
“You are going to lose a number of people to the flu, but you are going to lose more people by putting a country into a massive recession or depression,” he said, wrongly identifying the coronavirus as a “flu.”
“You are going to have suicides by the thousands — you are going to have all sorts of things happen. You are going to have instability. You can’t just come in and say let’s close up the United States of America, the biggest, the most successful country in the world by far.”
The New York Times asked epidemiologists for projection if Trump shortens the restrictions to 14 days only.
Assuming the US travel restrictions last for 14 days, “the model suggests that 126.5 million people could contract the coronavirus across the United States between January and late October (with 37.8 million at the peak on June 5). More than 1.3 million people would die under these conditions and 125 million people would recover,” NYT columnists Nicholas Kristof and Stuart Thompson w
“I think history would judge it an error of epic proportions,” Dr. Larry Brilliant, an epidemiologist who is a veteran of the eradication of smallpox, said.
“So we’re going to be talking, and it could be we’ll do sections of our country,” he told reporters. “There’re big sections of our country that are, you know, little affected by what’s taking place.”
He added: “Then there are other sections that are very heavily affected, so there’s a big difference. I would say by Easter we’ll have a recommendation and maybe before Easter.”