As backlash against the lockdown grows across the nation, civil rights experts are now being joined by economists in saying it needs to end sooner than later. President Donald Trump said Wednesday he would like to reopen the U.S. economy with a “big bang” but that the death toll from COVID-19 needs to be on the downslope before that can happen.
New data on transmission and guidelines from the CDC this week, that outline those not exposed could return to work, are also giving hope.
At a White House news briefing, the President mentioned that Centers for Disease Control guidance to ensure critical infrastructure workers can do their jobs after being exposed to the virus.
Trump did not give a timeframe on when he would like to reopen the economy, but his chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said Tuesday that it could happen in four to eight weeks.
Trump is joined by the nation’s economists, corporate business leaders as well as small businesses lining main streets across the country who want to get the economy going again as soon as possible. Medical advisors are working on a suitable plan to return to some sense of normalcy while avoiding a resurgence of the disease.
For most counties across the nation, coronavirus cases remain extremely low, giving hope that some areas will reopen sooner than others. Hot spots like New York City, Detroit, Chicago and New Orleans may lag behind other metropolitan areas in returning to normal.
The news is giving renewed hope to hundreds of millions of Americans for whom the lockdown has done economic harm.
Trump and his team have been heartened by signs that the death toll among Americans may fall far short of projections that experts outlined last week, indicating between 100,000 and 240,000 could die.
As of Thursday morning, projections now show that social distancing is working with a projected death toll now around 60,000 – a number that is similar to the death toll from the common flu.
“We’re ahead of schedule,” Trump encouraged the nation.
He said the economy could be reopened in phases but that “it would be nice to open with a big bang.” But he said, “We have to be on the downside of the slope” of infections and that he will rely heavily on experts in determining how to proceed.
Democrats have come under criticism this week for again pushing additional stimulus packages that are filled with hundreds of billions for pet projects and pork-barrel spending. Polls show Americans are angry with Democrat additions to the last spending bill which included hundreds of millions for big cities. In one instance, $25 million was given for the Kennedy Performing Arts Center. The center then laid off 250 people the next day.