US President Donald Trump insisted on Monday that COVID-19 restrictions could ease up in as little as a few weeks, as he seeks to reopen the economy.
Next week, a 15-day government shutdown ordered by the president to slow the spread of the coronavirus will end and “America will again and soon be open for business,” Trump told a White House news conference.
“We are not going to let it turn into a long-lasting financial problem,” he added.
The number of virus deaths in the United States soared to 560, with almost 44,000 declared cases, as New York finds itself in the epicenter.
If it were up to the doctors, they’d say let’s shut down the entire world,” said Trump.
"We can't do that and you can't do that with the country especially the number one economy anywhere in the world by far."
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham advised the president to pump the brakes on scaling back restrictions.
“My advice would be to follow medical advice to contain the virus,” he told reporters on Capitol Hill, as cited by Reuters. “If we can take some pressure off the economy, fine, but my primary focus is to make sure the virus is contained and defeated. And we’re just going to have to suffer through the economic consequences.”