Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden has come out against President Donald Trump’s proposal to have the economy up and running by Easter.
“Now he’s suggesting he wants to get the country back opened by Easter,” Biden said during a video conference with reporters.
“It would be a catastrophic thing to do for our people and for our economy if we sent people back to work just as we were beginning to see the impact of social distancing take hold only to unleash a second spike in infections,” he continued. “That’d be far more devastating in the long run.”
Biden is the latest public official to criticize Trump’s plan, which many argue could endanger more human lives as hospitals become overloaded with COVID-19 patients. Many state governors nationwide have vowed not to ease restrictions as the virus continues to spread.
You can watch video of Biden’s remarks below:
Biden criticizes Trump’s suggestion of opening economy by Easter, saying it would be "catastrophic" if we "sent people back to work just as we are beginning to see the impact of social distancing take hold, only to unleash the second spike in infections.” https://t.co/N1WPhbZg0J pic.twitter.com/E6h9wX92uW
— ABC News (@ABC) March 25, 2020
“Our country wasn’t built to be shut down,” Trump said during a briefing at the White House this week. “America will, again, and soon, be open for business. Very soon. A lot sooner than three or four months that somebody was suggesting. Lot sooner. We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.”
“It’s such an important day for other reasons, but I’ll make it an important day for this, too,” he added from the White House Rose Garden. “I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.”
But some big business magnates have advised against such a move.
“What the world, and the market, needs to see is that number stop going up,” said Adam Sarhan, CEO of investment firm 50 Park Investments, in conversation with The Washington Post. “Think of it as a trade: What’s the risk of reopening early?” Sarhan said. “The risk is the number of cases continues to skyrocket, and longer term, you’re just digging a much deeper hole.”
Microsoft founder Bill Gates, whose foundation donated $100 million to coronavirus treatment and prevention, has also called the idea “irresponsible.”
“There really is no middle ground, and it’s very tough to say to people, ‘Hey, keep going to restaurants, go buy new houses, ignore that pile of bodies over in the corner. We want you to keep spending because there’s maybe a politician who thinks GDP growth is all that counts,'” Gates said, adding that “it’s very irresponsible for somebody to suggest that we can have the best of both worlds.”