Trump: Closing economy could kill more people than coronavirus

US President says country is not 'built to be shut down,' does not want cure to be worse than coronavirus disease.

Gary Willig ,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Photo: reuters

US President Donald Trump warned that a closed American economy could cause more deaths than the coronavirus.

"People get tremendous anxiety and depression and you have suicide over things like this, when you have a terrible economy, you have death, definitely … in far greater numbers than we’re talking about with regard to the virus,” Trump said during a Fox News town hall on Tuesday.

Trump stated that he wanted restrictions on Americans imposed because of the coronavirus to be relaxed by Easter.

"I would love to have it open by Easter," the president said.

"Our country's not built to shut down," the president said. "Our people are full of vim and vigor and energy. They don't want to be locked into a house or an apartment or some space. We're not built that way."

"I said: I don't want the cure to be worse than the problem itself."

Easter Sunday will be on April 12, about two and a half weeks from now.

Earlier in the town hall, Trump said that decisions on whether to ease restrictions would be made after two weeks.

"I guess by Monday or Tuesday, it's about two weeks. We will assess at that time and give it more time if we need a little more time. We have to open this country up."