President Donald Trump looked to reassure the public again Monday, March 23, that the coronavirus outbreak will be short-lived.
READ MORE: "Our country wasn't built to be shut down," Trump said at a White House briefing with members of his Coronavirus Task Force, adding, "America will again and soon be open for business."
Trump said his administration is working on the "next steps," for re-opening businesses and other aspects of society once the medical community decides social distancing at the current level is not needed. He said that timeframe would be "a lot sooner than the three or four months" that some have suggested.
Worried about the severe damage to the country's economy for an extended shutdown, Trump is signaling his desire to end social distancing that is in place to try to stem the upward trajectory of the coronavirus outbreak.
The executive director of the Institute for Global Health at Northwestern University's School of Medicine, Dr. Robert Murphy, told VOA he hopes social distancing recommendations will not be relaxed prematurely out of concern for the U.S. economy.
"I am petrified. Hopefully the states will ignore this directive," he said.
Such action would be a very sad way to test Darwinian Law, added Murphy, a professor of medicine and biomedical engineering.
Surveys have found, in general, Republicans — compared to Democrats — taking the threat from the pandemic less seriously and being more inclined to believe the media are hyping the coronavirus outbreak. (VOA/AP)