US President Donald Trump said on Monday that his administration would work to allow local economies to “cautiously resume” activities at the appropriate time amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Speaking to reporters during a briefing in the White House, Trump said the United States “wasn’t built to be shut down.”

“Our public health experts, who are terrific, are studying the variation and the disease across the country, and we will be using data to recommend new protocols to allow local economies to cautiously resume their activity at the appropriate time,” he said, according to The Hill.

“Our country wasn’t built to be shut down,” Trump continued. “This is not a country that was built for this.”

The remarks came one week after Trump announced social distancing recommendations for the American public. They represent a definitive signal the President would work to loosen those guidelines for certain areas of the United States in the near future.

The coronavirus pandemic, which has sickened upwards of 40,000 Americans, has had a dire impact on the US economy, forcing businesses to close and causing massive layoffs.

Independent of the federal guidelines, some state and local officials have taken their own actions to limit the spread of the virus by ordering schools and businesses closed, particularly in areas that have seen significant community spread.

In his remarks Monday, Trump declared that the American economy would soon be up and running, saying it would happen in a matter of weeks and quicker than three or four months.

"America will again, and soon, be open for business," Trump said.

“This was a medical problem,” he added. “We are not going to let it turn into a long-lasting financial problem.”

He acknowledged, however, that the death toll would rise in the US and that the situation would worsen.

There were more than 43,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US as of Monday evening, and more than 500 Americans have died from it. More than 100 of those deaths occurred on Monday. Many of the cases have been reported in New York, California and Washington state.

Trump cautioned that businesses may not be able to open in a week, at the end of the 15-day window for the current guidelines, but again expressed optimism it would be “soon.”

“I’m not looking at months,” he said. “I can tell you right now.”