Trump On Coronavirus Timeline: ‘I Would Love To Have The Country Open By Easter’

Anders Hagstrom White House Correspondent
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President Donald Trump questioned Tuesday whether it is worthwhile to shut down the U.S. economy in an attempt to end the coronavirus pandemic. He also claimed his goal is to open the country “by Easter.”

Trump made the comments at a Fox News virtual townhall Tuesday, where he responded to video questions submitted by Americans. Trump has previously stated his administration would reconsider its distancing measures later in March. He also compared the coronavirus to the flu, which kills more Americans each year, so far, but has not brought out the same reaction from the government.

“I will tell you that right now. [Easter is] 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,” Trump said. (RELATED: VP Pence And Wife Test Negative For Coronavirus)

Trump’s comments come as the U.S. economy is dead in the water due to social distancing measures and stay-at-home orders in several states. Comparing the virus to the flu, he said the U.S. reaction may be overblown.

“Think of it, we average 36,000 people. I’m not talking about cases, I’m talking about [flu] deaths,” Trump said. Thirty-six thousand deaths per year. People die from the flu. But we’ve never closed down the country from the flu. So you say to yourself, ‘what is this all about?’ It’s never been done.”