President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that he would “love” the country to be reopened by Easter, which falls on April 12.

“It’s such an important day for other reasons but I’ll make it an important day for this too. I’d love to have the country opened up and raring to go by Easter,” Trump said.

Cases of a new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 have spiked in the United States as more than 46,000 people have tested positive and 593 have died. States across the country have closed essential businesses and advised people to stay home whenever possible to curb the spread of a new coronavirus.

During a Fox News coronavirus town hall on Tuesday, Trump said that America wasn’t designed to shut down and advocated for returning to nearly normal operations as soon as possible.

“Our country is not built to shut down, our people are full of vim and vigor and energy, they don’t want to be locked into a house or apartment or some space,” Trump said. “We’re not built that way.”

The president added that keeping businesses closed and people out of work could “destroy” the country, and he repeated a message he sent Monday night that he didn’t want the “cure to be worse than the problem itself.”

Trump built his presidency and re-election campaign around the economy and has been accused of downplaying the threat of a new coronavirus. The president, however, championed his early decision to restrict travel from China, where the virus originated, and subsequent restrictions.


President Donald Trump speaks with anchor Bill Hemmer during a Fox News virtual town hall meeting from the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty

Outbreaks in Europe and China, as well as, travel restrictions and advisories, reduced demand for flights and forced airlines to cancel massive numbers of trips. It’s taken a toll on the tourism industry and Airlines for America, an airline industry group, estimated the industry will need at least $50 billion in aid.

Trump has promised to help airlines, as well as, restaurants. Multiple states have limited restaurants to take-out and delivery services to prevent large groups of people from gathering in one place in an attempt to decrease the risk of exposure.

Easing regulations in New York include allowing restaurants to temporarily include alcoholic beverages in take-out and delivery menus. The effort is one that Governor Andrew Cuomo hopes will lessen the financial burden, but hundreds of thousands of hospitality workers across the country have already been laid off.