Coronavirus Outbreak: Donald Trump against doctors' advice on complete shutdown, says such move will affect country's economy

Coronavirus has so far claimed 550 lives and infected 43,700 people in the US, New York is the worst affected state with 157 deaths

Press Trust of India March 24, 2020 16:38:23 IST
Coronavirus Outbreak: Donald Trump against doctors' advice on complete shutdown, says such move will affect country's economy

Washington: US President Donald Trump has indicated that he is unlikely to follow the suggestion of his medical advisors on a complete shutdown to tackle the coronavirus outbreak as he said such a move would have tremendous repercussions on the country's economy.

"Don't forget, the doctors, if it were up to them, they'd be saying let's keep it shutdown. Let's shutdown the entire world because, again you're upto almost 150 countries. So let's shut down the entire world," Trump told reporters at a White House news conference on Monday.

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File image of US president Donald Trump. AP

"And when we shut it down, that would be wonderful, and let's keep it shut for a couple of years. You know we can't do that. You can't do that with a country, especially the number one economy anywhere in the world by far. You can't do that," Trump said, when asked about easing the safety guidelines regarding coronavirus .

COVID-19 has so far claimed 550 lives and infected 43,700 people in the US. New York is the worst affected state with 157 deaths.

Earlier, Trump said his administration would not allow the cure for COVID-19 , that is, an extended shutdown, be worse than the problem itself.

"We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself. At the end of the 15 day period, we will make a decision as to which way we want to go!" he tweeted. Trump defended his tweet during the press meet.

"Because it causes bigger problems than the original, that's why I talked about the cure being worse than the problem. We can't have the cure worsen the problem. We've done well because this two-week period has been good," he said.

The 15-day period of the government's initial guidelines ends next week after which Trump plans to come out with a new set of guidelines.

"I'm not saying it ends at that time. You know, we have another seven days or so. I'm not saying it ends at that time. But I am saying it's been like this incredible learning process. That's going to go into the future. That's going to go even as we open up our country," the president said, referring to hard hit states, New York, California, Washington and Illinois.

"Now, we may quarantine. I mean, we will be quarantining many people in these areas. There are other areas that just aren't affected or they are affected very little. And why would we close down 100 percent of the country?" he asked.

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Trump spoke against closing the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.

"There are areas within New York which will be open. To close the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ and with all of the great work they are doing I mean they have gone largely to computers you look at the floor it is incredible what they can do but it is fully open," he said.

Trump asserted that "we can do two things" simultaneously. Almost 160 million people have jobs in the US.

"We can't turn that off and think it's going to be wonderful. There would be tremendous repercussions. There will be tremendous death from that, death. You know you are talking about death probably more deaths from that than anything that we are talking about with respect to the virus," he said.

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