Donald Trump says he is 'opening up America' as experts urge caution

7 May 2020, 21:10

Donald Trump says he will be opening the country back up again
Donald Trump says he will be opening the country back up again. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

US President Donald Trump has said he is "opening up the country" following reports his administration is ignoring expert advice to exert extreme caution.

The United States has been the worst hit nation on the planet during the coronavirus pandemic, suffering over 76,000 deaths and recording over 1,250,000 cases around the country.

After being forced to shut down, the nation has seen the economy plummet with more than 33 million people register as unemployed.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has urged extreme caution in re-opening the nation, and supplied Trump's administration with a 17-page draft recommendation on how to re-open the US.

But Trump has been adamant on steaming through with his plan to open the nation quickly, and sources from the CDC told the Associated Press that Trump was not going to implement their plan.

They said: "We are used to dealing with a White House that asks for things and then chaos ensues. A team of people at the CDC spent innumerable hours in response to an ask from Debbie Birx," said the source.

"The 17-page report represents an ask from the White House Task Force to come up with these recommendations. That's our role. To put together this guidance."

In a video released on his Twitter page, Trump made no mention of the growing death toll, instead choosing to talk about how "incredible" the coming year will be.

He said: "This is a big moment in our history because we are opening up our country again.

"People are coming out and starting to go around and see what's happening, we've been sort of shut down as the expression goes.

"But we're opening up our country. People want our country to open up. Now we want to do it in a safe way, we want to make sure safety, you know all about social distancing and washing your hands and all of the things you're supposed to do.

"And something that I think it important to say because I've been OK at this kind of thing, our economy. It's going to come back very, very strong, the greatest economy anywhere in the world, nowhere even comes close.

More than 33 million people have declared unemployment
More than 33 million people have declared unemployment. Picture: PA

"Greater than China by far, greater than anybody nobody was even close. I did it once and we're going to do it again and we're going to be just as strong by the time we have it done.

"And it's going to be a lot sooner than anybody would understand. We're going to have an incredible next year and I'm looking forward to it."

In response to claims Trump's administration was not going to implement advice from the CDC, a White House official said recommendations laid out in the document did not fit in with the "phases" the coronavirus task force had already outlined.

They added that the draft recommendation was regarded as "overly prescriptive" because "guidance in rural Tennessee shouldn't be the same guidance for urban New York City."

But Trump has seemingly refused to acknowledge what many world leaders have said - that coronavirus is likely to change the way the public live their lives for some time to come.

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He publicly said last weekend that he was unlikely to support any measures that would change the way American citizens need to behave.

During a visit with representatives from restaurant and hospitality industries he said: "I see the new normal being what it was three months ago. I think we want to go back to where it was.

"I want to go back to where it was, that's where we're going to be."