“He absolutely does not want you to view these deaths for what they are… a result of his abject failure to handle the pandemic in any logical way.”
President Donald Trump made clear during both an interview and a press briefing Tuesday that he is willing to sacrifice lives for the sake of reopening U.S. businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic, declaring that jumpstarting the American economy is worth the dire public health risks.
“There’ll be more death,” Trump said in an appearance on ABC News. “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.”
The president said it is possible that there will be an increase in the U.S. death toll “because you won’t be locked into an apartment or house or whatever it is.”
“We have to get our country back,” Trump added. “You know, people are dying the other way too.”
ABC: Do you believe the reality is that lives will be lost to reopen the economy?
TRUMP: “It’s possible there will be some, because you won’t be locked into an apartment or a house or whatever it is. But at the same time, we’re going to practice social distancing.” pic.twitter.com/d9ISmjIyqy
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 5, 2020
Trump’s comments came a day after an internal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention document projected that the daily Covid-19 death toll in the U.S. could rise to 3,000 by June, nearly double the current rate. Despite warnings from public health officials and the lack of adequate testing, a number of states are taking steps to reopen their economies with the backing of the president.
Two anonymous Trump administration officials told CNN that new fatality projections “are not currently expected to affect the White House’s plans for reopening the country.”
In a press briefing on Tuesday, Trump said he views “our great citizens of this country to a certain extent and to a large extent as warriors.”
“They’re warriors,” the president continued. “We can’t keep our country closed. We have to open our country… Will some people be affected? Yes. Will some people be affected badly? Yes. But we have to get our country open.”
“I think the term here is ‘cannon fodder,'” Vox‘s David Roberts tweeted in response to Trump’s “warrior” comments.
Trump on why businesses should reopen: “I’m viewing our great citizens of this country to a certain extent and to a large extent as warriors. They’re warriors. We can’t keep our country closed. We have to open our country … Will some people be badly affected? Yes.” pic.twitter.com/hNXws4bwtd
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 5, 2020
Kim Nelson, a public health advocate and South Carolina Democratic congressional candidate, argued that Trump is characterizing people whose lives are at risk as warriors “so that you’ll view those who died as having sacrificed for the greater good.”
“He absolutely does not want you to view these deaths for what they are… a result of his abject failure to handle the pandemic in any logical way,” Nelson tweeted.
WATCH: Staten Island grocery shoppers drive out woman who refuses to wear a mask in the store
A group of angry shoppers at a Staten Island ShopRite were captured on video driving out a woman in the store who refused to wear a face mask.
The 20-second video clip shows masked shoppers swarming around a shopper who is pushing her cart around without any kind of face covering.
"Get out!" one of the shoppers yells at the woman.
"Get the f*ck out of here!" yells another.
While the woman is initially defiant, she eventually relents to peer pressure and leaves the store.
Staten Island has been hard hit by COVID-19 and has recorded more than 13,000 coronavirus infections and nearly 1,000 deaths from the disease.
Big Pharma ignored EU’s plea in 2017 to fast-track virus vaccines prior to pandemics: report
According to a report from The Guardian, major pharmaceutical companies threw up roadblocks to a plan by the European Union to push forward with a major vaccine research effort well before pandemics hit.
The report notes that back in 2017, the EU's executive branch pushed a proposal to put the development of vaccines on the fast-track only to have major drugmakers reject the suggestion.
"The commission’s argument had been that the research could 'facilitate the development and regulatory approval of vaccines against priority pathogens, to the extent possible before an actual outbreak occurs'. The pharmaceutical companies on the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI), however, did not take up the idea," the report states.
Trump White House ‘flailing’ because they see election slipping away: AP reporter
On Monday morning, MSNBC "Morning Joe" regular Jonathan Lemire claimed that Donald Trump's manic spree of ugly tweets aimed at his critics -- combined with White House attacks on presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden -- shows that the president and his campaign are "flailing" because they know the election is likely lost.
With host Joe Scarborough asking, "What is going through the president's mind? What is his state of mind? Why does he seem even more unbalanced and unmoored today than he has over the past three and a half turbulent years?" Lemire stated the combination of the coronavirus pandemic with its mounting death toll and the collapsing economy is more than the president can handle.