U.S. President Donald Trump wants to lift the lockdown that has been put into action amid the COVID-19 outbreak by Easter Sunday. But is this a good or a bad idea?
Earlier this week, Trump said that he wants businesses to resume and to lift the lockdown in the country by Easter, on April 12. According to him, increasing the length of the lockdown would just cripple the economy and lead to more serious problems in the long run.
However, the New York Times reported that experts have warned of the possible drawbacks of lifting the lockdown this early. Doing so could lead to more cases and even deaths due to the deadly virus. In fact, even with the quarantine in place, COVID-19 cases are doubling every three days, as per Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York.
As of the latest data, the United States has become the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic with at least 82,174 cases, beating Italy’s record of 80,589 and China’s 81,285. The World Health Organization (WHO) already anticipated this to happen a few days ago. New York accounts for nearly half the total number of cases with over 37,700 cases documented.
But Trump has a different take on the situation. According to the U.S. president, should the lockdown run longer, many people could suffer mental health issues like depression. There could also be a spike in suicides. He also pointed out that it could trigger a massive recession.
“You are going to lose a number of people to the flu, but you are going to lose more people by putting a country into a massive recession or depression,” Trump said.
“You are going to have suicides by the thousands — you are going to have all sorts of things happen. You are going to have instability. You can’t just come in and say let’s close up the United States of America, the biggest, the most successful country in the world by far,” he added.
Trump’s statement comes at a time when other nations are doing their best to stop the spread of the virus and curb the outbreak. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a lockdown in Britain. India is also doing a complete lockdown, while Japan has postponed the Olympic Games in Tokyo for a year.
Nevertheless, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff clarified that Trump’s Easter timeline is actually not final. It’s just the administration’s goal, and setting a date actually gives a ray of hope amid the difficult time that has befallen the U.S. due to the pandemic.