Trump Calls Los Angeles’ Extended Stay-at-Home Orders “a Death Wish”

Variety reports President Donald Trump has blasted plans by Los Angeles County’s leaders to extend stay-at-home orders for three months, calling the the move “a death wish.”

Trump made the remarks Monday during a business roundtable of restaurant executives at the White House. He responded to comments by California restaurateur Thomas Keller, who said he had heard Los Angeles County planned to stay closed until August due to the COVID-19 pandemic

“That’s a death wish,” Trump said. “Because there’s death in both sides.”

Trump has repeatedly contended that the U.S. economy needs to reopen in the face of the pandemic. He’s said that the financial consequences from keeping businesses closed around the country will create more deaths. Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County’s public health director, told the county’s board of supervisors on May 12 that stay-at-home orders will “with all certainty” be extended for the next three months.

The Los Angeles County Dept. of Public Health reported Monday that the county has a total of 38,451 COVID-19 cases and 1,839 deaths, including 477 new cases and 18 deaths on Monday. Gov. Gavin Newsom loosened guidelines restricting some businesses — a change that could release most parts of the state from his stay-at-home order — but it’s unclear if the infection rate in Los Angeles County has dropped enough to see its overall restrictions eased.