Washington Post

Washington Post 24 Mar 2020

Trump considers reopening the economy and easing coronavirus restrictions in Fox News town hall


President Trump said he wanted to reopen the economy by Easter during a town hall hosted by Fox News on March 24.

President Trump, Vice President Pence and members of the coronavirus task force sit down with Fox News' Bill Hemmer and Harris Faulkner for a virtual town hall to answer all of the most pressing questions.

FOX News operates the FOX News Channel (FNC),
Fox News correspondent-at-large Geraldo Rivera joins ‘Fox & Friends.' #FoxNews

FOX News operates the FOX News Channel (FNC),
President Donald Trump says he would like the United States to revive economic activity soon despite issuing guidelines to curb unnecessary travel last week, as deaths from the coronavirus hit 100 on Monday.
He says the US "was not built to be shut down" and analysts say Trump is concerned that Americans will vote him out in November if the economy has not recovered by then.
The US is reeling as lockdowns in the country threaten millions of jobs and legislators failed to pass a more than $1-trillion rescue package.

Al Jazeera's Heidi Zhou-Castro reports Maryland.
Fox News' John Roberts gives a preview of President Trump's first Town Hall of the year in Scranton, Penn.

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-Our country's not supposed --
you know, it's not -- it's not built to shut down.
Our people are full of vim and vigor and energy.
They don't want to be locked into a house
or an apartment or some space.
It's not for our country.
We're not built that way.
And I said, you know, I don't want the cure
to be worse than the problem itself,
the problem being obviously the problem.
We've had flus before.
We've had viruses before.
So this is something new, and this is why
I say we have to -- I gave it two weeks,
and, I guess, by Monday or Tuesday,
it's about two weeks, and we'll assess at that time,
and we'll give it some more time if we need a little more time,
but we have to open this country up.
I understand things very quickly.
I mean, I understood exactly what they were saying,
but we can socially distance ourselves and go to work.
You can clean your hands five times more than you used to.
You don't have to shake hands anymore with people.
That might be something good coming out of this.
So I would love to have the country opened up
and, uh, just raring to go by Easter.
-That's April 12th.
-We lose thousands and thousands of people a year to the flu.
We don't turn the country off.
We lose much more than that to automobile accidents.
We didn't call up the automobile companies and say,
"Stop making cars.
We don't want any cars anymore."
We have to get back to work.
Because of what's happened over the last couple of weeks,
they go from AAA to being like they could use a hand.
-Tough times. -Right.
We can't lose those companies.
If we lose those companies, we're talking about
hundreds of thousands of jobs, millions of jobs.
The faster we go back, the better it's gonna be.
It's been very painful for our country
and very destabilizing for our country,
and we have to go back to work much sooner than people thought.
And people can go back to work,
and they can also practice good judgment.
Governor Cuomo rejected buying recommended
16,000 ventilators in 2015 for the pandemic --
for a pandemic,
established death panels and lotteries instead.
So he had a chance to buy, in 2016, 16,000 ventilators
at a very low price, and he turned it down.
I'm not blaming him or anything else,
but he shouldn't be talking about us.
Because Nancy Pelosi came in
and put a lot of things in the deal
that had nothing to do with the workers,
that had to with an agenda
that they've been trying to get passed for 10 years,
and I came in, I told Mike, I told a lot of people,
"There's no way I'm signing that deal."
We had the best economy in the history
of our country three weeks ago,
and then, all of a sudden, we're supposed to shut it down,
and then we're supposed to pay people not to go to work.
We never had that.
-Right now, New York, the case attack rate,
when we're talking about the number of people
who are getting infected,
is four to five times any other place in the country.
-Why is that, density of population?
-I think part of it is density, part of it is the spread
that may have happened on metal surfaces
like in the subway and people that were in the subway.
Part of it may be a large number of people
came back after Christmas from Asia
that didn't get caught up in the closure.
-Do you blame the governor for that?
-And part of it could be the Europeans
who have come back subsequently.
I mean, obviously, it's a big area of world
trading and global transits.

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