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Trump: If more Americans die, OK, U.S. must reopen

Christian Fernsby |
U.S. President Donald Trump launched headlong into his push to reopen the country on Tuesday, saying Americans should begin returning to their everyday lives even if it leads to more sickness and death from the pandemic.

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Topics: TRUMP    AMERICANS    U.S.   

Trump, speaking in Phoenix during his first trip outside Washington in more than a month, said he's preparing for "phase two" of the US response to the coronavirus. That will include disbanding the White House task force of public health experts, including Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, that have steered the government response to the outbreak so far.

"We're now looking at a little bit of a different form, and that form is safety and opening, and we'll have a different group probably set up for that," Trump told CNN's Jim Acosta.

Trump all but admitted that he was reconciled to the deaths that epidemiologists say would result from a premature effort to open the economy.

Asked in an ABC News interview if the price of opening will be more deaths, Trump replied: "It's possible there will be some, because you won't be locked into an apartment or a house or whatever it is." The President called on Americans to maintain social distancing and handwashing, but claimed that stay-at-home orders were also injurious to national well-being.

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