KEY POINTS

  • Trump says reopening parts of the economy now will inevitably leade to "more death"
  • "I mean, you’re talking about filling up Yankee Stadium with death," Trump said
  • He predicts the virus will pass, "with or without a vaccine"

President Donald Trump admits his push to reopen the U.S. economy, even as the COVID-19 pandemic rages, will cause "some" Americans to lose their lives. And he again made the claim COVID-19 is "going to pass" with or without a vaccine developed to combat it.

Trump made these controversial statements during an interview with ABC’s David Muir Tuesday. He said re-opening parts of the economy now will inevitably lead to the death of "some" Americans. But he claims the benefits to be derived from getting Americans back to work is much needed.

He downplayed the death toll by referring to it as "some" deaths. His claim stands in contrast to a statistical estimate used by the government predicting deaths from COVID-19 will almost double to 134,000 by August 4. Health experts attribute the higher death count to the relaxation of social distancing measures by more and more states. In total, 42 states will have eased social distancing measures by the end of this week.

There were 72,202 deaths from the coronavirus in the U.S. as of 7:28 p.m. ET Tuesday. The U.S. reported 1,236,464 confirmed COVID-19 cases at this time, according to Worldometer.

“It’s possible there will be some (deaths) because you won’t be locked into an apartment or house or whatever it is,” according to Trump. “But at the same time, we’re going to practice social distancing. We’re going to be washing hands. We’re going to be doing a lot of the things that we’ve learned to do over the last period of time.”

Trump expects the U.S. death toll to increase by a large number.

“I always felt 60, 65, 70, (000) as horrible as that is. I mean, you’re talking about filling up Yankee Stadium with death! So I thought it was horrible. But it’s probably going to be somewhat higher than that,” he added.

Donald Trump's attacks on China for its handling of the virus outbreak have fanned fears of another trade war between the economic superpowers
Donald Trump's attacks on China for its handling of the virus outbreak have fanned fears of another trade war between the economic superpowers AFP / JIM WATSON

But this virus, too, shall pass without a vaccine, alleges Trump.

“There’ll be more death, that the virus will pass, with or without a vaccine. And I think we’re doing very well on the vaccines but, with or without a vaccine, it’s going to pass, and we’re going to be back to normal,” he explained.

American medical experts have long said there's no evidence the COVID-19 coronavirus will simply fade away on its own in the absence of a vaccine, thereby allowing the U.S. to return to a pre-coronavirus state of “normalcy” with its large crowds and no social distancing and lockdowns.

Top U.S. health experts concur in their professional judgment COVID-19 will return in the fall and might even become a seasonal affliction like the flu or influenza.

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