President Trump said the US will not shut down again if a second wave of coronavirus infections emerges.
“We’re not going close the country,” Trump told reporters Thursday while touring a Ford plant in Michigan. “We’re going to put out the fires. Whether it’s an ember or a flame we’re going put it out, but we’re not closing our country.”
The commander-in-chief said there’s a “very distinct possibility” that the deadly virus starts to spread again as states lift lockdown measures meant to control it.
But he suggested that officials will address new outbreaks individually rather than impose widespread restrictions like those that have hammered the US economy in the past two months.
“This is a country that’s meant to be open, not closed,” Trump said. “I want it open, and we’re going to open, and if there’s a fire, an ember, a flame someplace, we put it out.”
Experts have warned that southern states such as Alabama, Florida and Texas are at risk for a second wave of infections as they quickly reopen their economies, The Washington Post reported this week.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Trump administration’s top infectious disease expert, told the paper that there’s “no doubt” the virus will see a resurgence. It has already infected more than 1.5 million people and killed more than 94,000 across the country, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Trump has nonetheless pushed states to reopen as the pandemic led to job losses on a scale not seen since the Great Depression. Unemployment surged to a record 14.7 percent in April as the economy shed more than 20 million jobs.