SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – President Donald Trump on Thursday said the United States will not shut down again if the country goes through a second wave of the coronavirus.
“We’re not closing our country,” Trump said while touring a Ford plant in Michigan.
His announcement comes as more than 95,000 people in the US have died from the virus and nearly 39 million Americans have lost their jobs since the pandemic first hit.
“We’ve called it right, and now I want it open,” Trump said.
The president added that he thinks governors, some of whom have imposed harsher restrictions than others, now need to ease those measures.
Over the weekend, all 50 states at least partially reopened their economies since shuttering in March.
Experts, including White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci, have warned about the potential for a second wave of the disease if restrictions are pulled back too quickly.
There’s also concern the second wave could happen at the same time the seasonal flu gears up in the fall and winter.
“People say that’s a very distinct possibility. It’s standard,” Trump said when asked about the potential second wave. “And we’re going to put out the fires. We’re not going to close the country. We’re going to put out the fires. It could be — whether it’s an ember or a flame — we’re going to put it out. But, we’re not closing our country.”
An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll this week found 83% of Americans are at least somewhat concerned that lifting restrictions in their area will lead to additional infections, with 54% saying they are very or extremely concerned that such steps will result in a spike of COVID-19 cases.
At the same time, support for stay-at-home orders has dropped. A total 69% favored restricting gatherings to 10 people or fewer in April.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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