President Donald Trump conceded Tuesday that more Americans will die in reopening the US economy but underlined his insistence on a dwindling coronavirus threat by refusing to wear a mask, even as he toured a mask-making factory.
Asked by ABC News whether the lifting of social distancing measures and reopening of the shuttered economy will lead to higher death tolls, Trump said “it’s possible there will be some.”
“Because you won’t be locked into an apartment or a house or whatever it is,” Trump said at the Honeywell factory in Phoenix, Arizona, which he visited on his first major trip since the coronavirus lockdown began.
“Will some people be affected badly? Yes,” he admitted earlier at the factory. “But we have to get our country open.”
Trump’s November reelection campaign is reeling from the massive shutdown ordered to try and stop the spread of the virus, which has already killed 70,000 Americans and is forecast to take tens of thousands more lives.
Praising the Honeywell workers, who churn out masks used by medical staff and other first responders, Trump reiterated that it’s time to look ahead.
“I want to be a cheerleader,” he said.
Bolstering that shift of direction, the White House said that Trump’s emergency coordination group for the pandemic would be disbanding, probably by early June.