Trump says U.S. “was not built to be shut down,” as coronavirus hurts economy
President Trump signaled that he wants the economy to be back in full swing as quickly as possible, telling the public during a Coronavirus Task Force briefing that his administration will reevaluate the 15-day guidelines the White House issued last week when that time is up.
America, Mr. Trump said, “will soon be open for business,” even as public health officials warn Americans should be prepared to continue social distancing and closures for the time being.
“Our country was not built to be shut down,” the president said Monday night. “… We’re not gonna let the cure be worse than the problem.”
As CBS News White House correspondent Paula Reid has reported, the president wants the economy to be kicked back into high gear as soon as possible, as business closures eliminate jobs and send the stock market spiraling.
The president announced the administration is working on distributing millions of masks to the hardest-hit areas.
“FEMA is distributing 8 million N95 respirator masks and 13.3 million surgical masks across the country right now. Focusing on the areas with the greatest need, we have shipped 73 pallets of personal protective equipment to NYC and 36 pallets to the state of Washington,” the president said.
And Dr. Deborah Birx, a point person on the task force, said self-swab testing will be available soon.
How to watch the Coronavirus Task Force briefing
The Senate has so far failed to pass procedural votes to advance a coronavirus stimulus package, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi makes her own proposal.
A growing number of governors are telling residents to stay in their homes and ordering businesses deemed nonessential to close their doors, ramping up the pressure on lawmakers to swiftly provide relief to those affected by the coronavirus.
Further adding to the tensions on Capitol Hill was the revelation that Senate Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky,for the coronavirus. Following the announcement, two other GOP senators, Mike Lee and Mitt Romney of Utah, said they would be self-quarantining for 14 days because they came in contact with Paul.
Republican Senators Rick Scott of Florida and Cory Gardner of Colorado were already self-quarantining due to possible exposure to the coronavirus.
In all, five Republicans are self-quarantining and are unable to vote in the Senate, dwindling their ranks.