President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday his target date for reopening the country is Easter Sunday, which falls on April 12.
The Trump administration initially adopted a “15 days to slow the virus spread” policy, which called for social distancing and gatherings of groups of no more than 10 people.
Many states in response closed down bars and restaurants and events like church gatherings. Some states have issued stay-at-home orders, causing all but essential businesses to close.
The 15-day period will end Monday.
Trump recounted during a Fox News virtual town hall that his administration “allotted two weeks, but we’ll stay a little bit longer than that. But we want to get open very soon.”
“We’re opening up this incredible country, because we have to do that,” Trump added.
“I’d love to have it open by Easter,” he said. “I would love to have that. It’s such an important day for other reasons, but I’ll make it an important day for this too.”
“That would be a great American resurrection, two and a half plus weeks from now,” Fox News host Bill Hemmer said.
Easter is the day Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ after dying three days before by Roman crucifixion.
The president said he felt that a big reason the stock market saw major advances on Tuesday was statements he has made about reopening America, as well as optimism the Senate and the House will reach an agreement on the third phase of coronavirus legislation.
Trump argued that the country is “not built to shut down. Our people are full of vim and vigor and energy,” according to The Hill.
“They don’t want to be locked in a house or an apartment or some space,” he added.
“I would to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.” pic.twitter.com/MOHuwlsInR
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) March 24, 2020
During a news briefing on Monday at the White House, Trump was questioned if he would open the country back up if Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator for the coronavirus task force, advised against it.
“I understand the question very well,” the president responded, “It’s a great question. But we can do two things at one time. I will say this: Our country has learned a lot. We’ve learned about social distancing. We’ve learned about the hands. We’ve learned about staying away, at least during the time that this is even a little bit around.”
Trump also made clear certain states most impacted by the coronavirus may have to keep more aggressive measures in place.
The president has indicated multiple times over the last few days that the cure of preventive measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus — at the cost of major economic hardship — cannot be worse than the disease itself.
Our people want to return to work. They will practice Social Distancing and all else, and Seniors will be watched over protectively & lovingly. We can do two things together. THE CURE CANNOT BE WORSE (by far) THAN THE PROBLEM! Congress MUST ACT NOW. We will come back strong!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 24, 2020
“Our people want to return to work,” he wrote on Twitter.
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