Trump: Businesses Closed By Coronavirus Will Be Able To Reopen 'Much Sooner' Than 3-4 Months
President Donald Trump said at an afternoon press conference that the country is not built to be shut down. He noted that the administration was looking to figure out when businesses can be reopened. He said that businesses will be open "much sooner" than three to four months from now.
"At a certain point, we have to get open," Trump said. "If it were up to the doctors, they may say let's keep it shut down — let's shut down the entire world."
He reiterated a message he sent via a tweet Sunday night, saying that a decision on what to do next will come at the end of the 15-day period of precautions the White House recommended that began March 16.
Trump agreed with a comment from the surgeon general earlier in the day saying that the coronavirus's effects are going to get bad this week.
To help combat hoarding, Trump said that the federal government will be taking further steps to punish price-gouging, as well as taking action against coronavirus-related fraud.
The president signed an executive order earlier Monday to designate specific items illegal to hoard, Attorney General William Barr said.
The deadline by Homeland Security to have a REAL ID is being postponed, Trump said.
Coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said that she was tested for the virus over the weekend after feeling a low-grade fever, but tested negative.
FEMA is distributing 13.3 million surgical masks and 8 million N95 masks, according to Trump.
Trump talked about the potential of various drugs to help treat the coronavirus.
The president expressed his disapproval with coronavirus-related discrimination against Asian Americans.
Note: Some of President Trump's comments in past briefings have later been contradicted by information provided by other officials. He has also repeatedly used stigmatizing language to describe COVID-19.