President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump goes after Cassidy after saying he wouldn't support him for president in 2024 Jan. 6 panel lays out criminal contempt case against Bannon Hillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Agencies sound alarm over ransomware targeting agriculture groups MORE on Tuesday said his focus in responding to the coronavirus is on saving "the maximum number of lives," indicating he was willing to absorb a blow to the economy in the process.
“We are looking to save the maximum number of lives,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “Everything else is going to come back. A life is never going to come back. Our economy is going to come roaring back.”
The comments marked the second consecutive day where Trump appeared to grasp the gravity of the coronavirus pandemic hitting the United States. It has infected thousands of Americans and killed more than 90 people as of Tuesday morning.
Trump on Monday appealed to Americans to heed new federal guidelines to avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, to work from home when possible and to avoid discretionary travel.
"If people do what we're telling them to do, what we're asking them to do, you're going to see the saving of a lot of lives," he said Tuesday.
Public health officials have urged Americans to practice social distancing by avoiding large crowds and staying home when possible to "flatten the curve," or slow the rapid increase of confirmed cases in the U.S.
Administration officials said they reviewed a model produced by London-based researchers that showed 2.2 million people could die without intervention by the federal government and drastic actions by individuals. The officials cautioned that they review many models and that the Imperial College data was not necessarily predictive.