President Donald Trump on Thursday said “we are not closing our country” if the U.S. is hit by a second wave of coronavirus infections.
“People say that’s a very distinct possibility, it’s standard,” Trump said when asked about a second wave during a tour of a Ford factory in Michigan.
“We are going to put out the fires. We’re not going to close the country,” Trump said. “We can put out the fires. Whether it is an ember or a flame, we are going to put it out. But we are not closing our country.”
Trump has previously said there may be “embers” of the pandemic that persist in the U.S. past the summer, but he maintains that they will be stamped out. Health experts, including those in the Trump administration, have said that the virus will likely continue to spread through the fall and winter, and may become even more difficult to combat once flu season begins.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, told The Washington Post this week that he has “no doubt” there will be new waves of cases.
“The virus is not going to disappear,” he told Post. “It’s a highly transmissible virus. At any given time, it’s some place or another. As long as that’s the case, there’s a risk of resurgence.”
State leaders, not the federal government, have imposed harsh restrictions on residents and businesses to try to slow the spread of the disease. But with the U.S. economy straining under the social distancing rules, Trump has loudly called on the country to begin the reopening process.
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