Trump: America ‘not built to shut down’

President Trump said Tuesday he wants to reopen American businesses by April 12, signaling he’s eager to reinvigorate the economy after a two-week push to keep Americans at home to slow down and defeat the coronavirus. “I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter,” he told a Fox News town hall on the coronavirus from the White House. Mr. Trump said the country is simply not built to shut down. “We can destroy our country this way by closing it down,” he said. “You’re gonna lose more people by putting the country into a massive recession or depression. You’re going to have suicides by the thousands.” Mr. Trump on March 16 announced a 15-day period during which people were encouraged to work and learn at home if possible, avoid groups of 10 or more and use takeout instead of entering bars and restaurants. He says he will reevaluate the guidance this weekend, meaning changes could come before Easter. One idea is to get healthier people back to work first or tell parts of the country with fewer cases that it’s OK to return to business as normal. Scientists say the business closures, a form of “social distancing,” are vital to breaking up the virus’s chains of transmission. It will buy time for hospitals, so they aren’t overrun with patients.

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