GOP Governor Criticizes Trump's Coronavirus Messaging as 'Pretty Confusing'

GOP Governor Criticizes Trump's Coronavirus Messaging as 'Pretty Confusing'

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that coronavirus restrictions, which have shut down businesses in many places across the country, could themselves lead to suicides or other fatalities.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that the media are making a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to disagreements with President Donald Trump. Because we have to do that.

"I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter", he said during a Fox News virtual town hall.

But in the last couple of days Trump has tried to argue that the country can begin reopening businesses soon, despite the rapidly growing number of confirmed cases of coronavirus nationwide.

"The president has listened to what I have said, and to what the other people on the task force have said, when I have made recommendations, he has taken them, [and] he's never countered or overridden me", he said. "This cure is worse than the problem".

"I give it two weeks", Trump said earlier in the town hall, suggesting he was ready to phase out his 15-day self-isolating guidelines when they expire.

Many public health experts have expressed alarm about Trump's suggestion that some parts of the country could soon ease some measures being taken to slow the spread of the virus.

Trump said his administration was developing new protocols for many local economies outside of what he called coronavirus "hot spots" - New York, California and Washington state - to resume economic and social activity.

Health experts, including those within Trump's administration, have repeatedly warned that stringent social distancing policies are necessary to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

"There weren't specifics", Kristan Hawkins, head of the anti-abortion group Students for Life, said of the conference call with Pence, adding that she was concerned about the infection rate of Covid-19 - the disease caused by the virus - and the potential risks of lifting social-distancing guidelines prematurely. "I think there are going to people like me who, for a long time, are going to be wary of being in crowds - of being on airplanes".

"We can't lose a Boeing, we can't lose some of these companies", he said.

Mr Trump's Easter target was not immediately embraced by Dr Deborah Birx, the coordinator for the White House task force, who indicated any move would have to be guided by data still being collected. "I wish that would stop and we'd look ahead at the challenge we have to pull together to get over this thing".

Trump's enthusiasm for getting people back to work comes as he takes stock of the political toll the outbreak is taking.

He also said the mental health implications of prolonged social distancing would prove dire, and warned that the USA would suffer "suicides by the thousands". "We don't want to lose these workers". The World Health Organization has also warned that the USA may soon become the new epicenter of global pandemic, with confirmed cases rising rapidly in the country every day.

Easter is just over two weeks away - April 12.

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