President Trump said Thursday the United States would not shut down if a second wave of coronavirus hits the country, an event Dr. Anthony Fauci called “inevitable.”
“People say that’s a very distinct possibility. It’s standard. And we’re going to put out the fires. We’re not going to close the country. We’re going to put out the fires,” Trump told reporters during a tour of a Ford manufacturing plant in Ypsilanti, Mich., when asked if he was concerned about a second wave of COVID-19.
“Whether it’s an ember or a flame, we’re going to put it out. But we’re not closing our country,” the president continued.
Dr. Fauci, a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, has warned of the likelihood of a second wave of the virus come fall or winter.
“It’s inevitable that the coronavirus will return next season. … When it does, how we handle it, will determine our fate,” Fauci told NBC late last month.
In later prepared remarks at the Ford facility, Trump declared that the country “wasn’t meant to shutdown” and described prolonged shutdowns as a nonstarter.
“A permanent lockdown is not a strategy for a healthy state or a healthy country. Our country wasn’t meant to be shut down,” the president said. “We did the right thing but now it’s time to open it up. A never-ending lockdown would invite a public health calamity. To protect the health of our people we must have a functioning economy.”