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Trump Says He Wants US Economy 'Rarin' To Go By Easter,' Even As New York Faces Critical Ventilator Shortage

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Trump Says He Wants US Economy 'Rarin' To Go By Easter,' Even As New York Faces Critical Ventilator Shortage

President Donald Trump addressed questions about the coronavirus outbreak in a virtual town hall event hosted by Fox News. Trump addressed the pandemic's economic impact and his optimistic — overly so, according to public health experts — outlook for a path forward.

Despite saying last week that the members of the White House’s coronavirus task force think August is a reasonable projection for the end of the outbreak, Trump said Tuesday he hopes the economy will be opened back up for business less than three weeks from now.

“It’s such an important day for other reasons, but I’d love to make it an important day for this. I would love to have the country opened up, and rarin’ to go by Easter,” he said. 

On the same day Trump made the comments, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the nation's largest city is about two weeks from the peak of coronavirus and desperately needs more ventilators from the federal government for patients, Politico reported. The state recently received a mere 400 ventilators from FEMA, he said. 

New York has only a fraction of the 30,000 ventilators it needs, the governor said. 

“You pick the 26,000 people who are going to die.”

Coronavirus Stimulus Bill

Trump also said he cancelled a coronavirus legislation deal on Monday night because Congressional Democrats were “throwing Green New Deal stuff in.” Trump also said Americans can go to work after two weeks as long as they practice social distancing.

The economic shutdown could reduce U.S. GDP by “20 or 25 points,” he said, adding that he doesn't want the nation’s response to the outbreak to do more damage to the country than the virus itself.

“We lose thousands and thousands of people a year to the flu. We don't turn the country off,” he said. 

Benzinga’s Take

Investors seemed optimistic about the economic outlook and the potential for a Congressional stimulus package worth up to $2.5 trillion. The SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY) was higher by 6.3% in afternoon trading.

Do you agree with this take? Email feedback@benzinga.com with your thoughts.

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President Donald Trump at the White House on March 13. White House photo by D. Myles Cullen.

 

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