“This will be probably the toughest week, between this week and next week, and there will be a lot of death, unfortunately,” Trump said Saturday during his daily briefing on the pandemic which has so far infected over 300,000 in the country with the death toll surpassing the 8,000 mark, according to official figures released by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Trump further underlined that the US is approaching a “horrendous” time in the outbreak, adding, “We are getting to that time where the numbers are going to peak and it is not going to be a good-looking situation.”
“I really believe we’ve probably have never seen anything like these kind of numbers; maybe during the war, during a world war, a world war one or two or something,” he went on to note. “But this is a war, all into itself, and it’s a terrible thing.”
Accusing media of generating public panic
The US president also slammed press coverage of the virus outbreak in his country, accusing the media of generating public panic, saying: “It’s therefore critical that certain media outlets stop spreading false rumors and creating fear and even panic with the public.”
“It’s just incredible. I could name them but it’s the same ones; always the same ones. I guess they’re looking for ratings. I don’t know what they’re looking for. So bad for our country,” he added.
Trump further emphasized that his administration is using the Defense Production Act “very powerfully”, noting that government emergency management and health services institutions such as FEMA and HHS have ordered 180 million N95 masks.
“We need the masks,” he underlined. “We don’t want other people getting them. That’s why we’re instituting a lot of Defense Production Act. You could call it retaliations because that’s what it is, it’s a retaliation. If people don’t give us what we need for our people, we’re going to be very tough.”
‘We have to open out country again’
Pledging to deploy 1,000 military personnel to New York City, which leads all major American cities as a “hotspot” for the coronavirus cases, Trump further added: “We will continue to use every power, every authority, every single resource we’ve got to keep our people healthy, safe, secure and get this thing over with. We want to finish this war.”
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“We have to get back to work,” he then insisted. “We have to open our country again. We have to open our country again. We don’t want to be doing this for months and months and months. We have to open our country again. This country wasn’t meant for this. Few were, few were. But we have to open our country again.”
This is while the White House announced earlier that Trump had issued disaster declarations for the states of Wisconsin and Nebraska, bringing the overall count to 36 states, the District of Columbia (Washington, DC) and four US territories.
Relaxing stay-at-home orders for Easter events?
Trump also pointed out that he had considered acting to relax stay-at-home orders nationwide so Christian churches across the US could celebrate Easter Sunday next week.
Researchers warn COVID-19 lockdown will cause thousands of deaths in US US health experts warn that mass shutdowns of businesses and schools over the coronavirus outbreak will lead to thousands of deaths and suicides unrelated to the disease itself.
“Palm Sunday, tomorrow,” he said. “Think of it. We’re not going to churches on Palm Sunday. But think of next Sunday: Easter. And I brought it up before, I said, maybe we could allow a special for churches. Maybe we could talk about it. Maybe we could allow them with great separation outside on Easter Sunday.”
Lobbying for untested hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19
The US president further continued to lobby for hydroxychloroquine, the malaria drug he believes could work as a preventive for coronavirus, noting that he had called Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the day to urge the release of the unspecified amounts of the drug ordered by Washington.
“I just hope that hydroxychloroquine wins, coupled with perhaps the Z-Pak as we call it, depending totally on your doctors and the doctors there,” Trump asserted. “There is a possibility – a possibility – and I say it: what do you have to lose? … Take it. I really think they should take it.”
‘Trump denigrating science’ as virus wreaks mayhem in US: Analyst The reason the US failed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic at its onset is that President Trump has no belief in science and even denigrates it, an American academic says.
However, FDA (Food and Drug Administration) Commissioner Dr Stephen Hahn emphasized right after Trump’s prepared remarks on Saturday that “we are prioritizing this drug to come in for clinical trials and use if doctors think it’s appropriate.”
Although the drug has not been approved by FDA, Trump insisted during his remarks that “I may take it,” claiming that it may be a “game changer” for treating the virus.