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25 March 2020 - 17:10
News ID: 449739
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Trump:
Social distancing rules may be relaxed sometime ‘soon’ to prevent “tremendous death” from economic and social depression that could end up worse than the coronavirus itself, US President Donald Trump said.

RNA - “People get tremendous anxiety and depression and you have suicide over things like this, when you have a terrible economy, you have death,” Trump said Monday at the White House daily press briefing, adding it would “definitely would be in far greater numbers than we’re talking about with regard to the virus”, RT reported.

“The hardship will end, it will end very soon, normal life will return,” Trump said, praising the sacrifices made by Americans so far as necessary measures that are “saving lives”.

Trump would not say exactly when the “social distancing” protocols will be relaxed, but noted that the US still has a week to go in the 15-day challenge to slow the spread of the virus.

“This was a medical problem, we’re not going to let it turn into a long-lasting financial problem,” he added, urging Congress to pass the $2 trillion stimulus bill urgently and without partisan politicking, as workers and employees across the US were hurting from lockdowns and quarantines.

Earlier on Monday, Democrats had blocked the Senate Republican proposal to give Americans cash payments for the second time in two days, saying it gave too much to corporations and insisting on their own expansive package of measures going far beyond the health emergency.

Trump said the administration’s thinking had evolved due to getting better numbers of the mortality rate from Covid-19, which was initially thought to be at five percent, but now seems to be much lower, below one percent.

Some areas of the US may need to stay on lockdown for longer, but those “may have to be tailored geographically and by age group”, said Dr. Deborah Birx from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Pressed for exact advice the doctors were giving the president, Birx refused to speculate and said their opinion would be “backed up by data, not our perception”.

Trump added that he was not considering further travel bans, whether on entry into the US or on moving between the states. He also noted that even when things get back to a semblance of normalcy, there would be tradeoffs in behavior after “the invisible scourge” of the virus is gone.

He also repeated something he tweeted out earlier, condemning any discrimination against Asian-Americans, as the Covid-19 spread is “NOT their fault in any way, shape, or form”.

At the conference, Trump did not use the term “Chinese virus”, as he was in the habit of doing in the past, to much criticism from the media and Democrats.

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