Donald Trump doubles down on claim that MORE people will die from ‘depression’ if they can’t get back to work
- Trump told Fox News he would ‘love to have it open by Easter’
- Public health experts are urging the nation keep up social distancing to prevent deaths that could number in the millions
- Trump said you would ‘lose more people’ from a depression than the flu
- ‘You’re going to have suicides by the thousands’
President Donald Trump said Tuesday U.S. economy must be spared from the pain of nationwide virtual lock-downs to avert ‘thousands’ of suicides.
Trump made the claim, which he did not back up with statistics, in a Fox News interview where he continued to argue that social distancing measures his administration is promoting should not be long-lived.
‘You’re going to lose a number of people to the flu, but you’re going to lose more people by putting a country into a massive recession or depression,’ Trump predicted.
‘You’re going to lose people. You’re going to have suicides by the thousands,’ he said.
‘You’re going to have suicides by the thousands,’ President Trump said as he indicated he wants to stop social isolation orders as soon as possible
Trump the network in a town hall-style interview from the Rose Garden that he would ‘love to have it open by Easter,’ in reference to the economy.
The alternative, he said, could be disastrous.
‘You’re gonna have all sorts of things happen. You’re going to have instability. You can’t just come in and say let’s close up the United States of America – the biggest most successful country in the world by far.’
Trump is up for reelection in November, and now faces the potential of deep economic problems and a down stock market. His own health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have urged stronger – not weaker – social isolations measures.
He said Easter was a ‘very special day for me’ and said he’d like to see people back in church for it.
Trump vented during the interview about officials who urge him to ratchet up demands on Americans to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
People wait in line for help with unemployment benefits at the One-Stop Career Center, Tuesday, March 17, 2020, in Las Vegas. Trump claims there will be ‘thousands’ of suicides if isolation orders don’t end to reopen the country
Unionized hospitality workers wait in line in a basement garage to apply for unemployment benefits at the Hospitality Training Academy Friday, March 13, 2020, in Los Angeles
‘A few people walk into the Oval Office and they say sir, we have to close up the country,’ Trump said.
‘We can do much of what we’re doing and we can do it from a work environment instead of an environment where everybody’s locked up and everybody is saying, ‘Oh, the business is gone, the business is gone,’ and everybody’s suffering depression,’ Trump said.
He said ‘that causes death and that causes a lot of problems,’ and talked about businesses trying to save what they have built. The Senate is acting on a bailout package of more than $1 trillion.
‘I believe very strongly you’re going to lose far more people by going that way than you are if we kept this thing going.’
Academics have tried to debunk persistent myths about suicides during the 1929 stock market crash, although there was a small statistical increase in suicides during the Great Depression. The boost was from 17.0 per 100,000 people in 1929 to to 21.3 in 1932, in the midst of the depression, according to research by economist John Kenneth Galbraith.
Trump’s push to reopen is drawing pushback. ”There will be no normally functioning economy if our hospitals are overwhelmed and thousands of Americans of all ages, including our doctors and nurses, lay dying because we have failed to do what’s necessary to stop the virus,’ tweeted Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming Tuesday.