ABC News World News Tonight anchor David Muir landed an interview with Donald Trump during his trip to Arizona on Tuesday, and one of the bigger pieces of news out of the conversation was the president’s acknowledgement that there may be some fatal tradeoffs as states reopen their economies.
Asked if lives will be lost in the desire to ease stay at home orders and other social distancing restrictions, Trump said, “It’s possible there will be some because you won’t be locked into an apartment or a house or whatever it is. But at the same time, we’re going to practice social distancing. We’re going to be washing hands. We’re going to be doing a lot of the things that we’ve learned to do over the last period of time. And we have to get our country back. When you look at suicides. Take a look at what is going on. People are losing their jobs. We have to bring it back, and that is what we are doing.”
‘World News Tonight’ Anchor David Muir On Coronavirus Crisis: ‘One Of The Ways You Bring Anxiety Levels Down In This Country Is To Arm People With The Facts’ – Deadline Q&A
PART ONE: @DavidMuir has an exclusive interview with Pres. Trump in Phoenix, Arizona, asking about the risk of more lives lost to COVID-19 in the push to reopen, testing and the economy and his message to the families of the 70,000 Americans now dead. https://t.co/hzG1drfzIj pic.twitter.com/bivV4KSxJq
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) May 6, 2020
Trump said that some people will be affected by decisions to reopen the economy in some states, as governors grapple with historic levels of unemployment.
“Will some people be affected? Yes. Will some people be affected badly? Yes. But we have to get our country open and we have to get it open soon,” Trump said.
Muir, who also serves as managing editor of the newscast, asked Trump about his frequent blaming of his predecessor, Barack Obama, for leaving an insufficient national stockpile of emergency supplies. The president has said that “the cupboard was bare,” even though that claim has been deemed “mostly false” by Politifact.
Bret Baier On Co-Anchoring Donald Trump’s Next Town Hall, The President’s Media Bashing And Scrutiny Of Fox News Coronavirus Coverage — The Deadline Q&A
Even so, Muir queried the president on why his administration didn’t replenish it in the three years he has been in office.
“Well, to be honest, I have a lot things going on,” Trump said. “We had a lot of people that refused to allow the country to be successful. They wasted a lot of time on Russia, Russia, Russia that turned out to be a total hoax. And then they did Ukraine, Ukraine, and that was a total hoax. Then they impeached the president of the United States for absolutely no reason.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Vice President Pence confirmed plans to disband the White House coronavirus task force by the end of the month, even though many health experts believe that the crisis won’t really end until a vaccine is produced. One model showed that there could be as many as 135,000 deaths by August.
“There’ll be more death, that the virus will pass, with or without a vaccine,” Trump said. “And I think we’re doing very well on the vaccines but, with or without a vaccine, it’s going to pass, and we’re going to be back to normal. But it’s been a rough process. There is no question about it.”
More of the interview will air on Nightline at 12:05 AM ET and Wednesday on Good Morning America.
According to Johns Hopkins University, there have been 71,031 deaths from coronavirus in the U.S. and 1,203,673 confirmed cases.