I want it over by EASTER! Trump says his goal is for U.S. to return to normal by April 12th with 'packed churches' - and justifies defying doctors' orders by saying 'we lose thousands of people a year to flu and we don't turn country off'

President Donald Trump on Tuesday argued that thousands die every year from the flu and the United States doesn't shut down the economy, adding he wants the guidelines he put in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus over by Easter.  
'We lose thousands and thousands of people a year to the flu. We don't turn the country off,' President Trump told Fox News on Tuesday during a virtual town hall. 
He said his goal would be to have a return to normal by Easter Sunday, which is April 12. That is 19 days away.
'I'd love to have it open by Easter. I would love to have it opened by Easter,' Trump said. 'I will tell you that right now. It's such an important day for other reasons, but I will make it an important day for this. I would love to have the country opened up, and they are just raring to go, by Easter.'
His policies recommended no social gatherings over 10 people, which has closed several houses of worship and sent religious services online. The guidelines also recommended not eating at restaurants but ordering take out, which would prevent Easter brunch reservations. But the president his timeline for a return is realistic.
'I think it's possible. Why isn't it? We've never closed the country before,' he said. 
He called Easter a 'very special day' and said he'd like to see people back in church for it.
'Easter is a very special day for me,' he told Fox News' Bill Hemmer after the virtual town hall aired. 'The churches aren't allowed essentially to have much of a congregation there and most of them I watched on Sunday fall in line.'
He added that 'I think Easter Sunday and you will have packed churches all over our country. I think it would be a beautiful time and it is just about the timeline that I think is right. Gives us more chance to work on what we're doing and I'm not sure that's going to be the day but I would love to aim it right at Easter Sunday so we are open for church service and services generally on Easter Sunday would be a beautiful thing.'
President Donald Trump on Tuesday argued that thousands die every year to the flu and the United States doesn't shut down the countr
President Donald Trump on Tuesday argued that thousands die every year to the flu and the United States doesn't shut down the countr
President Trump, who appeared on a virtual Fox News town hall with Vice President Mike Pence and other members of the coronavirus task force, said he wants the country open by Easter, which is April 12
President Trump, who appeared on a virtual Fox News town hall with Vice President Mike Pence and other members of the coronavirus task force, said he wants the country open by Easter, which is April 12
President Donald Trump speaks to Fox News Channel anchor Bill Hemmer during a Fox News Channel virtual town hall, in the White House Rose Garden with Vice President Mike Pence, Dr. Deborah Birx, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams
President Donald Trump speaks to Fox News Channel anchor Bill Hemmer during a Fox News Channel virtual town hall, in the White House Rose Garden with Vice President Mike Pence, Dr. Deborah Birx, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams 
President Trump argued that while the flu can kills thousands so can a terrible economy. The president has been in conflict with some medical experts who are pushing for strong anti-containment measures to stay in place in order to stop the virus.  
'Look, you're going to lose hundreds of people to the flu,' he said. 'But you're going to lose more people by putting a country into a massive recession or depression. You're going to lose people. You're going to have suicides by the thousands. You're going to have all sorts of things happen. You're going to have instability. You can't just come in and say, "Let's close up the United States of America."'  
The president spoke on Tuesday morning with several billionaire hedge fund and private equity managers about reopening the U.S. economy, Bloomberg News reported, including Citadel’s Kenneth Griffin, Paul Tudor Jones of Tudor Investment, John Paulson and Blackstone Group Inc.’s Stephen Schwarzman.
Trump said whenever the guidelines are eased, people will still have to social distance and wash their hands.  
'People will have to practice all the social distancing and don't shake hands and wash your hands and all the things that we are doing now. But we have to get our country back to work. Our country wants to be back at work,' he said during his Fox News town hall.  
He reiterated his argument that the cure can be worse than the disease, which he started making this week as the economic effects of virus have been felt.
'Our country wants to go back to work. Again, the cure, this cure is worse than the problem. Again, many people, in my opinion more people, are going to die if we allow this to continue. We have to go back to work. Our people want to go back to work,' he said. 
President Trump said a decision would be made on a new set of recommendations on Monday or Tuesday, which marks the end of his 15 Days to Slow the Spread guidelines released last week.  
Earlier Tuesday he argued he can re-open the economy while protecting at-risk populations from the coronavirus despite warnings from medical experts that strict containment measures are still needed. 
'Our people want to return to work,' the president wrote on Twitter.
'They will practice Social Distancing and all else, and Seniors will be watched over protectively & lovingly. We can do two things together. THE CURE CANNOT BE WORSE (by far) THAN THE PROBLEM! Congress MUST ACT NOW. We will come back strong!,' he argued.
President Donald Trump said he can re-open the economy while protecting at-risk populations from the coronavirus
President Donald Trump said he can re-open the economy while protecting at-risk populations from the coronavirus
First responders from IU Health Bloomington hospital pick up a woman at the corner of 1st St and S. Walnut St who was sitting slumped over, and was saying she was having trouble breathing, and other COVID-19/Coronavirus symptoms in Bloomington, Ind.
First responders from IU Health Bloomington hospital pick up a woman at the corner of 1st St and S. Walnut St who was sitting slumped over, and was saying she was having trouble breathing, and other COVID-19/Coronavirus symptoms in Bloomington, Ind.
President Trump has begun advocating for a return to normal life even as medical experts give the opposite advice. 
His push on Tuesday comes as Congress closes in on a deal for a $2 trillion economic rescue packages for individuals and businesses hit hard by the coronavirus. 
The stock market rose Tuesday morning in the hopes the legislation will soon be passed and checks will flow into the pocket books of Americans. 
And Larry Kudlow, chief economy adviser at the White House, warned there will still be shut-ins and hot zones even if some ares become more open.
'We're not abandoning the health professionals' advice, but there is a clamor to try to reopen the economy, and perhaps I'll call it less of a shut in. And so that's one piece that's yet to be determined, but it's one piece is being looked at. We still need the assistance because in the next week or two or three, you're still gonna have a lot of hot zones, you still got a lot of shut ins. There's no miracle here. We're not just flipping a switch. The assistance is so vital,' he told reporters at the White House Tuesday morning.
President Trump has been clear he's worried about the economic affect coming from all the businesses being shuttered because of the pandemic. Numerous states have closed restaurants, gyms, bars, and clubs. The hospitality industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. States like California and New York have advised people to stay home as much as possible. And the stock market has tanked, erasing nearly all the gains it made since Trump took office. 
Politicians from both sides of the aisle have warned President Trump against an early ending to social distancing.
'There will be no normally functioning economy if our hospitals are overwhelmed and thousands of Americans of all ages, including our doctors and nurses, lay dying because we have failed to do what’s necessary to stop the virus,' wrote Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney on Twitter. She went into voluntarily quarantine after possible exposure to the coronavirus.
And Hillary Clinton wrote letting people die was not worth rescuing the economy.
'It's incredible that this has to be said: Letting thousands of people needlessly suffer and die is wrong. It's also not a recipe for rescuing the economy,' she tweeted.   
Additionally, the World Health Organization has warned the United States has the potential to become the new coronavirus epicenter following a 'very large acceleration' in infections. 
Over the past 24 hours, 85 percent of new cases were from Europe and the United States, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters on Tuesday. Of those, 40 percent were from the United States.
Italy currently has the highest number of coronavirus deaths in the world with more than 6,000, after abruptly overtaking China - where the outbreak began in late December and 3,281 people have died - late last week. 
But the U.S. is on pace to become the new leader after its death toll climbed to 586 as of Tuesday, a sharp rise of more than 200 since Sunday.  
Over the past week, there has been a surge of new cases as testing across the country increases. On Monday alone, more than 11,000 new positive cases were confirmed as the total number surpassed 46,400.
Fifteen hard-hit states are now in various forms of lockdown as experts say the peak is yet to come and that the current state of crisis will last for another several months, at least.  
Asked whether the United States could become the new epicenter, Harris said: 'We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the US. So it does have that potential.
'They [the US] have a very large outbreak and an outbreak that is increasing in intensity,' Harris added, noting that she expects large increases in case numbers and deaths globally, which currently stand at 392,780 and 17,159 respectively. 
The warning came hours after President Trump said he will reconsider the nation's social distancing policy within a matter of days and promised America will be open for business 'very soon'.
Members of the Maryland National Guard control entry to a section of parking lot on the south side of FedEX Field that officials said will become a clinic for health screenings in response to the coronavirus
Members of the Maryland National Guard control entry to a section of parking lot on the south side of FedEX Field that officials said will become a clinic for health screenings in response to the coronavirus
The World Health Organization warned on Tuesday that the US has the potential to become the new coronavirus epicenter following a 'very large acceleration' in infections. More than 11,000 new positive cases were confirmed nationwide Monday
The World Health Organization warned on Tuesday that the US has the potential to become the new coronavirus epicenter following a 'very large acceleration' in infections. More than 11,000 new positive cases were confirmed nationwide Monday
The WHO warning came after President Trump said he will reconsider the nation's social distancing policy within a matter of days and promised America will be open for business 'very soon' at a White House press briefing on Monday (pictured)
The WHO warning came after President Trump said he will reconsider the nation's social distancing policy within a matter of days and promised America will be open for business 'very soon' at a White House press briefing on Monday (pictured)
As of Tuesday morning more than 46,400 people in the US have tested positive for coronavirus and 586 have died
As of Tuesday morning more than 46,400 people in the US have tested positive for coronavirus and 586 have died
This graph shows how the number of new cases in the United States per day compares with Italy over the past five days  

'America will, again, and soon, be open for business. Very soon,' President Trump said at the daily White House coronavirus briefing Monday. 'A lot sooner than three or four months that somebody was suggesting. Lot sooner. We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself. We're not going to let the cure be worse than the problem.'
As the president talked economics and down played the medical portion, he was surrounded by fewer than usual numbers of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Attorney General Bill Barr and Dr. Deborah Birx were present. Dr. Tony Fauci, the nation's foremost expert in infectious diseases, was not. 
President Trump complained about the caution brought by health care professionals, saying he told his team they would close the 'entire world.' 
'I was telling them, if it was up to the doctors, they would keep it shut down, they would say "let's shut down the entire world."' You can't do that,' he said.
Trump was asked if Fauci agreed with his emphasis on the economy. 
'He doesn't not agree,' the president replied. 
And Trump wouldn't commit to listening to his medical experts when it comes to a final decision.  
'Ultimately I have to make a decision but I certainly listen to them in a number of people. I have a lot of respect for Dr. Fauci and for Dr. Birx and I'll be listening to them and others that are really doing a good job,' he said.   
But Fauci acknowledged Tuesday he looks through a medical lens and that Trump looks at all facets.
'Obviously this is something under very intense discussion. What the president is trying to do is to balance the public health issues with the fact this is having enormous impact on the economy of the country, which may actually - indirectly - even cause a considerable amount of harm and difficulty health wise. So it’s a balancing act and the president is trying to get it right,' he told WMAL radio in Washington D.C. 
'The president has the awesome responsibility of considering every facet of this,' he added. 'He takes in advice from a number of people, from a number of vantage points and then he makes a decision.'

Trump announced a new set of policies on Monday, March 16, meant to stem the spread of the coronavirus, that included closing restaurants and no social gatherings over 10 people. 
He said that situation will be reassessed at the 15-day mark, which would be early next week.
His comments on Monday were were met with outcry from medical experts including Tom Inglesby, a director at the John Hopkins Center for Health Security.
Inglesby warned coronavirus will 'spread widely, rapidly, terribly and millions could die' if Trump lifts lockdowns in the United States early. He tweeted a thread aimed at 'anyone advising the end of social distancing'. 
The WHO epicenter warning came as:
  • New York state is expected to begin trials on Tuesday for hydroxychloroquine, a malaria drug touted as a potential 'miracle' coronavirus treatment 
  • US airlines are believed to be working on plans for a complete shutdown of all passenger flights across the country as air-traffic control systems begin to feel the effects of coronavirus 
  • Seventeen states have issued stay-at-home orders affecting some 187 million Americans: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and West Virginia
  • The Tokyo Olympics was postponed for a year after Japan called for a delay due to the coronavirus crisis 
This chart shows the number of daily new cases in China (red) and the US (blue), starting from the dates on which each country crossed the threshold of 30 new cases. Last Thursday, the US number of daily new cases surpassed China's peak
The US death toll surpassed to 580 on Monday - a sharp rise of more than 100 in one day. Medics are seen carting a patient out of the Life Care Center, a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, where 35 people have died since the US outbreak began
The US death toll surpassed to 580 on Monday - a sharp rise of more than 100 in one day. Medics are seen carting a patient out of the Life Care Center, a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, where 35 people have died since the US outbreak began
Fifteen states have implemented various forms of lock-down to stem the spread of coronavirus. The National Guard is active in all 50 states - pictured here in Maryland last week
Fifteen states have implemented various forms of lock-down to stem the spread of coronavirus. The National Guard is active in all 50 states - pictured here in Maryland last week
Two members of the New York Army National Guard are seen directing traffic outside a testing center in Staten Island
Two members of the New York Army National Guard are seen directing traffic outside a testing center in Staten Island
There are now more than 187 million people in various forms of lockdown across America as states choose to shut down non-essential businesses to battle the spread of coronavirus 
But the president said it would not be just an economic decision to reopen, promising medical experts would have input. 
'We, also, have a large team working on what the next steps will be once the medical community gives a region the okay. Meaning the okay to get going, to get back, let's go to work,' he said on Monday.
Investors have also warned that Trump's desire to rapidly reopen the economy despite signs the coronavirus is still spreading may backfire, with higher deaths and citizens remaining fearful of going out. 
US markets have been roiled by the spread of the virus in the country and as states have shut parts of their economies.
News of Trump reopening the US economy anytime soon would not be taken well by investors, who remain anxious about the coronavirus' uncertain trajectory and its economic toll, said Axel Merk, chief investment officer of Merk Investments.
'Markets will react badly because they have learned that this approach doesn't work,' Merk told Reuters. 'From a medical point of view, you have to break the exponential growth and you do that with shelter in place policies.'
Some experts have predicted the U.S. could experience up to 20 per cent or 30 per cent unemployment because of the coronavirus. 
The cost of a mistake could be deadly. A March 16 study by Imperial College in London predicts 2.2 million deaths in the United States in an unmitigated epidemic, with critical care bed capacity exceeded as early as the second week in April. 
Trump's push for a return to normal comes as the economy is tanking and Fauci warned that social distancing may last 'several weeks.'
Additionally, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams warned Monday it get worse.
'This week, it's going to get bad,' Adams told NBC's 'Today Show.' 'We really, really need everyone to stay at home.'
He advised patience. 
'We know it's going to be a while before life gets back to normal,' he told CBS 'This Morning.'  
I want it over by EASTER! Trump says his goal is for U.S. to return to normal by April 12th with 'packed churches' - and justifies defying doctors' orders by saying 'we lose thousands of people a year to flu and we don't turn country off' I want it over by EASTER! Trump says his goal is for U.S. to return to normal by April 12th with 'packed churches' - and justifies defying doctors' orders by saying 'we lose thousands of people a year to flu and we don't turn country off' Reviewed by STATION GOSSIP on 02:06 Rating: 5

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