When the next coronavirus wave comes, Trump says he will not close down the U.S.
At this point, much of the U.S. has been under some sort of social distancing rules or lockdown for months. The goal is to help curb the spread of the coronavirus — to flatten the curve so our hospitals don’t become overwhelmed like we saw happen in China and Italy. So far, in some parts of the U.S., it’s worked. But that seems to be creating a lot of false hope that the pandemic is over. It’s not, and Donald Trump is already being vocal about his plans to prioritize the economy over saving lives when (not if) the next wave comes.
At a tour of a Ford factory in Michigan on Thursday, Trump was asked about a second wave of the coronavirus in the U.S.
“People say that’s a very distinct possibility, it’s standard,” he replied.
“We are going to put out the fires. We’re not going to close the country,” Trump continued. “We can put out the fires. Whether it is an ember or a flame, we are going to put it out. But we are not closing our country.”
Those are some bold claims, considering the first wave of the disease still hasn’t technically subsided. Despite the fact that all 50 states are now reopening in some way, coronavirus case counts are still increasing in many parts of the country. And public health experts warn that the virus will absolutely continue to spread — possibly more rapidly, once states are reopened — and may become even deadlier and more difficult to contain when the next flu season begins in the fall.
Naturally, Trump made these claims while he refused to wear a mask, despite a state law and a Ford company policy requiring face coverings. The plant is making ventilators right now to help with the COVID crisis.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, told the Washington Post this week that he has “no doubt” a second wave is coming, and it may be sooner than we think.
“The virus is not going to disappear,” he said. “It’s a highly transmissible virus. At any given time, it’s some place or another. As long as that’s the case, there’s a risk of resurgence.”
“I hope that if we do have the threat of a second wave we will be able to deal with it very effectively to prevent it from becoming an outbreak not only worse than now but much, much less,” Fauci said last Tuesday in virtual testimony to the Senate.
According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been at least 1.5 million confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S., and nearly 100,000 deaths so far. The case count globally has surpassed 5 million with over 333,000 deaths.