US President Donald Trump has ruled out a national lockdown under his administration to tackle the coronavirus outbreak, saying such a move costs lives, impacts the economy and “the cure cannot be worse than the problem itself”.
“The United States experienced the smallest economic contraction and the most rapid economic recovery of any major Western nation. We went down less and we went up more, which is quite a combination of facts,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday.
The coronavirus has killed 244,302 people with over 10 million confirmed cases in the US so far. “While healthy Americans have gone back to work and to school, we continue to spare no expense to protect the elderly and vulnerable. According to some estimates, a national lockdown cost USD 50 billion a day and hundreds of thousands of jobs every single day,” he said.
“Ideally we won’t go to a lockdown. This administration will not be going to a lockdown. Hopefully… whatever happens in the future. Who knows which administration it will be. I guess time will tell. But I can tell you this administration will not go to a lockdown,” Trump said.
According to media projections, Democrat Joe Biden, 77, has won the November 3 presidential election. However, Trump, the Republican incumbent, has alleged election fraud and mounted legal fights in a number of battleground states.
“There won’t be necessity. Lockdowns cost lives and they cause a lot of problems. The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself,” said the president.
Lockdown, among other things, he said, results in depression, loss of jobs, and business closures. “It’s a terrible thing. So this administration, under no circumstances, will go to a lockdown. But we’ll be very vigilant, very careful. We understand the disease. It’s a complicated disease but we understand it very well,” he said.
He asked all Americans to remain vigilant especially as the weather gets colder and it becomes difficult to go outside and to have outside gatherings.
Trump did not take any questions from the media.