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President Donald Trump plans to ease up coronavirus-related restrictions by Easter. But many opposed his idea, such as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and various health professionals, as they fear that relaxing restrictions at this point could dramatically increase coronavirus deaths in the United States.
“I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter,” Donald Trump said on Tuesday during a Fox News town-hall event at the White House, Business Insider reported. “Easter is a very special day for me,” he later said in a later interview.
“Wouldn't it be great to have all the churches full?” the President added. “You'll have packed churches all over our country. I think it'll be a beautiful time.”
“Our people want to return to work,” Trump tweeted on March 24. “They will practice Social Distancing and all else, and Seniors will be watched over protectively & lovingly. We can do two things together. THE CURE CANNOT BE WORSE (by far) THAN THE PROBLEM! Congress MUST ACT NOW. We will come back strong!”
But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is opposed to Trump’s way of thinking. He pointed out that for Americans, human life is more important than the economy.
“I understand what the president is saying that this is unsustainable that we close down the economy and we continue to spend money,” Cuomo said at a New York City news conference, according to CNBC. “But if you ask the American people to choose between public health and the economy then it’s no contest. No American is going to say ‘accelerate the economy at the cost of human life.’”
It’s a view shared by many. “I cannot emphasize this enough. HUMAN LIVES ARE WORTH MUCH MORE THAN THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE,” Twitter user Eugene Gu, MD responded to the POTUS’ tweet. “The economy is important but what use is money if you and your loved ones are dead? Money can always be made later. But your life cannot be refunded and purchased again.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also warned that prematurely easing up coronavirus restrictions might do more harm than good to the economy in the long run. “The cost to the economy of many more people getting affected and sick is an even bigger cost than we’re seeing now,” Pelosi said.
Medical professionals also fear that should Trump ease up restrictions could result in more Americans contracting the virus. “If you don’t keep the restrictions or make them stricter, you’re going to have more people infected, hospitalized, and dying from the disease,” Infectious Diseases Society of America board member Dr. Tina Tan warned, according to CNBC. “It’s going to be a lot more people.”
Tan also fears that the U.S. might end up like Italy where the soaring cases of coronavirus infections overwhelmed its health care system. “We’re going to completely overwhelm the hospital system,” Tan said. “There are many systems right now that are right on the edge. It doesn’t take much to push them over.”
Just like most Americans, Tan also believes that people’s lives are more important than the economy. “Loosening restrictions makes absolutely no sense if you look at it from a health perspective,” she said. “I really think now that people are worth more than actually trying to save the economy right now.”