WASHINGTON: Struggling to restore normalcy in the US where Covid-19 has claimed the lives of more than 47,000 people and infected over 8,52,000, President Donald Trump has said that the the country was “attacked”.
“We were attacked. This was an attack. This wasn’t just the flu by the way. Nobody has ever seen anything like this, 1917 was the last time,” Trump told reporters at his daily White House news conference on Wednesday.
He was responding to a question about the growing US national debt as a result of the multi-trillion dollars stimulus packages that his administration has come up with to help people and businesses in distress as a direct fallout of the pandemic.
“We have no choice. Do we have a choice? I’m always concerned about everything. We had to fix this problem,” he said.
“We had the greatest economy in the history of the world… Better than China, better than any place,” he said.
“We built it in the last three years and then one day, they came and they said you have to close it. Now, we’re going to open it again and we’re going to be just as strong or stronger but you have to spend some money to get it back open,” he said.
“We saved our airlines. We saved numerous companies that are great companies that two months ago were having the best year they’ve ever had. Now all of a sudden, they’re totally shut out of markets,” he added.
Trump said the number of new positive cases continue to decline nationwide.
“Recent hotspots appear to be stabilising. They are going in the right direction. Cases in the Boston area are now declining. The Chicago curve appears to have flattened, which is terrific… Detroit has passed its peak,” he said.
“These trends demonstrate that our aggressive strategy to battle the virus is working and that more states will soon be in a position to gradually and safely reopen. That’s very exciting,” he asserted.
Trump said that his administration is working closely with governors to ensure that they have the testing infrastructure in place to reduce further spread of the virus if they’re so inclined to use the testing apparatus, including strategies for older individuals, low income Americans, minorities, and Native Americans.
“I’ll not rest until that prosperity has been fully restored. I really believe that we’re going to lift those numbers higher than ever before, and it will be as long as people might think,” he said.
“A lot of very smart people are looking at that and they’re betting. You just have to look at what’s going on with the stock market,” he added.
The administration so far has directed more than $7 billion in federal funding to support the development of treatments, diagnostics, and therapies.
The FDA, the NIH, and industry leaders are establishing master clinical trial protocols to test multiple promising new drugs at the same time.
More than 1600 locations across the country have signed up to administer convalescent plasma to patients, infusing them with antibodies of those who have recovered, he added.