Trump: Wind down task force because we can't stay 'closed for the next 5 years'


Donald Trump is prioritizing the U.S. economy over American lives.

On Tuesday, Donald Trump defended the idea of winding down the White House coronavirus task force because he is eager to reopen the American economy.

"We can't keep our country closed for the next five years," Trump said in response to reports that the task force may dissolve this month. "You can say there might be a recurrence, and there might be. And most doctors or some doctors say that it will happen, and it'll be a flame and we're gonna put the flame out."

Trump and many Republicans around the country have pushed to reopen many parts of the economy even as experts warn that such a decision will likely result in more coronavirus cases and a higher death toll.

A new model from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington estimates 135,000 deaths in the country through the beginning of August, the New York Times reported on Monday.

Researchers said the higher estimate is based in part on "rising mobility in most U.S. states as well as the easing of social distancing measures expected in 31 states by May 11, indicating that growing contacts among people will promote transmission of the coronavirus."

The Times also reported on a White House projection showing the death toll from the pandemic will increase to 3,000 people per day by June 1, around the same time the task force would be disbanded. The death toll is currently around 1,750 people per day.

Despite the rising death toll, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that the administration is considering disbanding the task force because of "the tremendous progress we've made as a country."

As of Tuesday afternoon, nearly 1.2 million people in the country have confirmed coronavirus cases, according to the New York Times, and more than 70,000 people have died.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.