Donald Trump downplays coronavirus threat, expects US to re-open by Easter

Washington: US President Donald Trump has downplayed the coronavirus outbreak in United States and expects to open at least some sections of the country by Easter.

Speaking at White House news briefing he expressed that Easter on 12 April – presented a “beautiful time, a beautiful timeline” for the country to be re-opened with businesses and services to resume as per usual.

Earlier, speaking to a private media outlet he stated, “Our country, it’s not built to shut down. You can destroy a country this way by closing it down.”

“We’re going to be opening relatively soon. I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter,” he added.

The US has the third highest number of COVID-19 cases and has reported around 55,000 confirmed coronavirus cases amounting to 800 deaths approximately.

Lockdown and quarantine measures have been imposed throughout United States and a stay-at-home order has been issued for more than a third of the population, bringing the world’s biggest economy to a standstill.

The plunge in activity and warnings of recession or even depression are a brutal reversal for what was until a few weeks ago a humming economy, with record low unemployment.

US Senate has agreed on a $2 trillion economic rescue plan with the White House. The package includes tax rebates, loans, money for hospitals and rescue packages for businesses.