WATCH: Trump Signals Shutdown May Last Weeks, Not Months

President Trump indicated in his coronavirus task force briefing today that the shutdown may last weeks and not months.

Trump had hinted this might be the case in a morning tweet where he wrote in all caps:

WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!

The Independent reports Donald Trump said he intends to re-open the United States from its coronavirus shutdown sooner than in three or four months, as some experts have predicted the lockdown should last, even saying he might consider such an order when a White House-mandated 15-day period to shutter much of the economy ends next week. However, it is unclear if state and local officials would even follow such presidential guidance – especially in hard-hit areas.

“Our country wasn’t built to be shut down,” Mr Trump said during an evening briefing at the White House. Once medical officials signal it is “okay,” he added, “Let’s get back to work.”

Later came this presidential vow: “I’m not talking about months, I can tell you that.” And even later, he appeared to mock his public health experts.

“If it were up to the doctors, they may say, ‘Let’s keep it shut down. Let’s shut down the entire world,'” he said, sounding exasperated.

“We can’t do that,” Mr Trump said with his arms held straight out, for effect.

At one point, the president noted the virus outbreak is not as serious in many rural areas, naming Nebraska and Idaho because those countries are affected “not nearly to the extent of New York.”

Trump administration officials have talked about, without providing clear evidence, the virus outbreak ending in late May or June. But the president’s comments in the White House briefing room made clear he does not intend to allow the partial lockdown to go on that long.

And, once again, the president touted the state of the economy under his watch, saying the coronavirus undercut gains made during his term. Mr Trump had been banking on a strong economy as a basis of his re-election campaign.

The president said an announcement to that end is coming “soon,” but he did not offer further details.

“We’re going to open up our country to business because our country was meant to be open. … The engine for that system is we have to have companies,” Trump said, saying that likely would happen “very, very soon.”

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