Mar 24, 2020 - Health

Trump says he wants to "open" the country by Easter

President Trump said at a Fox News town hall Tuesday that he would "love" to have the country "opened up, and just raring to go" by Easter, or April 12, despite warnings from public health officials that easing social distancing restrictions too soon could cause the number of coronavirus cases to skyrocket.

Why it matters: Trump is becoming increasingly frustrated with the state of the economy, and he's begun to discuss options for reopening parts of the country that have been on lockdown to help stop the spread of the virus.

  • His comments signal that he sees Easter — which is just 2.5 weeks away — as a deadline for bringing people back to work.

Between the lines: Trump's close advisers have suggested that the economy can’t sustain a shutdown for much longer.

  • Administration officials tell Axios the White House has been conducting modeling to see how the coronavirus is affecting Americans across different zip codes.
  • When the White House’s 15-day federal guidelines expire, they are discussing restarting economies in areas that aren't as vulnerable.

What’s next: As Axios Jonathan Swan reported this morning, the end of the White House's 15-day social distancing program will likely bring a serious clash between the public health experts — who will almost certainly favor a longer period of nationwide quarantining — and the president and his economic and political aides, who are anxious to restart the economy.

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