US President Donald Trump urged on Tuesday to reopen the economy, even if this would further increase the toll of the COVID pandemic – 19 in the USA.
“I'm not saying that everything is perfect. […] Are some people going to be hit hard? Yes. But we have to open our country and we have to open it soon, “said the President from a Honeywell respirator factory in Phoenix, Arizona.
Asked about ABC News soon after, he was even more explicit. Does he think “lives will be lost in order to reopen the economy”? “It is possible that this could happen because we will not be confined to our homes,” he replied.
If the United States has just passed the milestone of 70 000 coronavirus-related deaths and could reaching that of 100 000 before the beginning of June, the White House has been focusing its message for several days on the deconfinement in progress.
Evidence of the executive's desire to mark the beginning of a new chapter, the vice-president, Mike Pence, indicated that the crisis cell on COVID – 19, which he heads, should be dismantled in the coming weeks.
Considering that the Americans were “warriors”, Donald Trump considered that they were ready for this “new phase of the battle”.
Would he be tempted to say “Mission accomplished”? “No, no, mission accomplished, it's when it's over,” he replied.
Kayleigh McEnany, spokesman for the White House, also said that medical experts would remain closely involved in the decision-making process. “The president will continue his data-driven approach for a safe reopening,” she said.
After suggesting otherwise, Mr. Trump appeared among the workers of the Honeywell factory, all wearing masks without wearing one himself, contenting himself with protective glasses.
“I don't feel it for me”
In early April, the Republican billionaire had stressed that he had no personal plans to comply with the health authorities' recommendation to wear a mask.
“Wearing a mask while receiving presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens, I don't know … I don't feel it for me”, he had advanced, while all the visits by foreign leaders had already been interrupted for weeks.
Mike Pence has come under heavy criticism for not wearing a mask while visiting a clinic in Minnesota, in violation of the establishment's regulations. Sunday evening, he admitted that he had made a mistake.
The presidential trip itself, with advisers, journalists, members of the Secret Service, was a challenge.
Anyone at any time near the president has been tested for COVID – 19, the White House assured.
“The President takes very seriously the health and safety of all who travel to allow his travel and the smooth running of the White House operations,” said Judd Deere, spokesman for the American executive.
Asked about the numerous projections that do not predict an end to contagion during the summer, Mr. Trump once again defended his decisions since the start of the pandemic. “We just got it,” he said.
The balance sheet of the United States hides great disparities, as in Europe. Large initial outbreaks, such as New York and New Jersey, are seeing contagion decline. In Texas, Illinois and the Washington region, the number of new cases is increasing. In California and Florida, it is stagnating.
California, the first American state to have decreed containment to stem the coronavirus, will begin to relax certain measures at the end of the week, such as the reopening of certain businesses.
During his last trip to Arizona, on 19 February for a campaign meeting, Donald Trump had minimized the risks, referring to the upcoming arrival of spring as a liberation.
“I think everything will be fine,” he said on a local TV station.
“I think that when we arrive in April, with warmer weather, it will have a very negative impact on this type of virus. We will see, but I think everything will be fine. ”