United States President Donald Trump said Monday that he is considering downgrading his government’s measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 because of the negative impact they are having on the economy.
In a press conference at the White House, Trump announced that on March 30, when the 15-day period that his government imposed to implement measures ends, he will study whether he continues in the same direction or takes a new direction.
The president, however, emphasized that the emergency measures “will end soon” and that “the remedy (for COVID-19) cannot be worse than the disease”, while acknowledging that the numbers are going to be “bad” ” in the coming days.
“The US will be back – and soon – back to work. Very soon, much sooner than three or four months as some suggest. Much sooner. We cannot allow the remedy to be worse than the disease,” he said.
Among the measures the United States recommended to its citizens are working and schooling from home whenever possible, avoiding trips, not going to bars or restaurants and avoiding meetings of more than 10 people.
“This can create a much bigger problem than the problem we started with,” he said, insisting that the United States does not want “to lose companies or lose workers.”
The president also compared the deaths from the coronavirus with the accident rate on the road.
“Car accidents are far more than any number we’re talking about (about the coronavirus). That doesn’t mean we’re going to tell everyone to stop driving cars,” said the president.
AN EDUCATED CITIZENSHIP
What Trump anticipated is that despite the lifting of the strictest measures, citizens will have to continue complying with the new protocols for social distancing.
“Our country has learned many things during this period: social distancing, not fitting the hand,” said the president, confident that the Americans will act responsibly “because now there is a lot of discipline.”
Trump warned that the country must do “two things at the same time”, restart the economy and maintain this social distancing.
ALMOST HALF OF THE UNITED STATES, IN QUARANTINE
Six states – Michigan, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Indiana, Oregon and West Virginia – joined Monday the other eight that have decreed in recent days the mandatory confinement of citizens in their homes, which affects a total of about 137 million of people, almost 42% of the population.
That proportion rises to 46% if you add the more than 5 million inhabitants of the towns that have ordered a quarantine on their own, such as Dallas County (Texas) and the cities of Philadelphia (Pennsylvania), Saint Louis ( Missouri) and Kansas City (Missouri).
The measures coincide with an acceleration of infections in the United States, where more than 40,000 people have contracted the new coronavirus and at least 550 have died (about 140 in the last 24 hours), according to official data.
“This week things are going to be very bad. We really have to stay home,” US General Director of Public Health Jerome Adams told NBC News on Monday.
FOCUS ON NEW YORK
About half of COVID-19 cases in the United States are in New York State, and one-third of the total in New York City.
Dr. Deborah Birx, who coordinates the White House task force on the coronavirus, explained that about 28% of tests done in New York state give a positive result, in contrast to 8% of the rest of the country.
“Clearly, the virus has been circulating there for several weeks to have these levels of penetration into the community,” he said, noting that one in 1,000 New Yorkers is already infected.
THE FED ACT
The crisis and its harsh effect on the economy prompted an extraordinary announcement by the Fed, which stated that it will acquire unlimited Treasury bills and mortgage-backed securities to “maintain a normal functioning of the markets and an effective execution of monetary policy” .
The move was interpreted in the markets as a sign that central bankers consider this economic crisis worse than the 2008 recession, and want to prevent it from leading to a depression like the one in 1929.