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Donald Trump insists he’ll ‘reopen US soon’ as financial cost soars

Defiant: Mr Trump and vice president Mike Pence, left, address reporters PICTURE: GETTY

DONALD TRUMP has said he wants to reopen the US for business ‘in weeks, not months’ as he claimed continued closures could result in more deaths than the virus itself.

Speaking at a press briefing, the president told reporters: ‘We can’t have the cure be worse than the problem.

‘We have to open our country because that causes problems that, in my opinion, could be far bigger problems.’

While acknowledging there were trade-offs, he claimed — without apparent evidence — that if closures stretched on for months there would be ‘probably more death from that than anything that we’re talking about with respect to the virus’.

So quiet: Times Square is deserted as New York virus cases continue to rise PICTURE: SWNS

Mr Trump’s comments echoed a tweet he sent on Sunday and were further evidence that he has grown impatient with the pandemic even before it has reached its expected peak.

It comes as health experts insisted that unless Americans continue to dramatically limit social interaction — staying home from work and isolating themselves — the number of infections will overwhelm the health care system, leading to many more deaths.

While the worst outbreaks are concentrated in certain parts of the country, such as New York, experts warn the disease is certain to spread.

But with millions out of work, businesses shut and markets in freefall — all hobbling Mr Trump’s re-election hopes — the backlash has gathered pace.

‘We can’t shut in the economy. The economic cost to individuals is just too great,’ Larry Kudlow, Mr Trump’s top economic adviser, told Fox News.

‘The president is right. The cure can’t be worse than the disease, and we’re going to have to make some difficult trade-offs.’ Mr Trump tweeted that he would wait until the end of the current 15-day period of closures and self-isolation to make any decisions.

Meanwhile Texas is moving to ban most abortions during the outbreak, declaring they do not qualify as essential surgeries.

An order issued over the weekend by governor Greg Abbott barred ‘any type of abortion that is not medically necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother’, Texas attorney general Ken Paxton confirmed. Failure to comply can result in a £860 fine or 180 days’ jail.

The issue also has flared in Ohio, where abortion clinics received letters on Friday from Republican attorney general Dave Yost ordering them to cease all ‘non-essential’ surgical abortions. There were no immediate reports of other states planning to impose abortion restrictions related to Covid-19.