Trump wants to ‘open up’ country by Easter

Stocks soar, US deaths from coronavirus approach 700

Washington: The nation approached 700 coronavirus-induced deaths on Tuesday as stocks soared, and President Donald Trump said he hoped to “open up” the nation by Easter.

“Our country has to get back to work,” Trump said. “Otherwise it’s going to be very hard to start it up again.”

In Congress, leaders on both sides of the aisle said a multi-trillion dollar stimulus deal was near, reported USA Today.

The U.S. death toll reached 696 by late Tuesday afternoon, after growing by more than 100 in the previous 24-hour period. The country had more than 53,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, trailing only Italy and China. New York state, now testing more than 16,000 people daily, has about half the U.S. cases.

Experts say confirmed cases reflect how much testing is done, and as the U.S. gets more tests, more confirmed cases are expected.

President Donald Trump said he hopes the country can return to relative normalcy by Easter, April 12. Trump, in a virtual town hall on Fox News, said people can go back to work and still practice social distancing, wash their hands frequently and take other precautions. The flu kills tens of thousands of Americans each year, but the nation does not shut down for it, he added.

“I’d love to have the country opened up and raring to go by Easter,” Trump said.

Asked whether that was feasible, Trump said it’s not only possible but necessary to soon lift the current social-isolation measures that have sent the economy into a spiral.

“Again, this cure is worse than the problem,” Trump said. “Many people, in my opinion more people, are going to die if we allow this to continue. We have to get back to work.”

The Dow Jones industrial average rebounded Tuesday, posting its biggest one-day gain in nearly 90 years on hopes that Congress would pass a stimulus bill to shield the economy from the coronavirus pandemic. 

The blue-chip average surged more than 2,100 points, or 11.4%, to close at 20,704.91, its largest percentage gain since March 1933 after slumping to a three-year low a day earlier. The Standard & Poor’s 500 jumped 9.4% to end at 2,447.33, its biggest gain since October 2008.

Following a turbulent start to the week, stocks stabilized and Treasury yields rose in a sign that investors are feeling less fearful as Congress was nearing a rescue plan that could inject $2 trillion into the economy. The market has seen rebounds like this before, only for them to wash out immediately.

Image courtesy of thesatimes | Welcome to The South Asian Times

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