Piers Morgan hits out at Donald Trump’s ‘reckless’ plan to lift coronavirus lockdowns

The Good Morning Britain presenter accused the US President of caring more about the country’s economy than the health and safety of its people. Mr Morgan hit out at his long-term pal for saying the US would reopen for business “soon”. There are 54,968 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the States and 784 people have died after testing positive.

In a column on the Mail Online, Mr Morgan said: “President Trump, like Johnson, has been flailing through this crisis because all his natural instincts are to maintain everyone’s ‘rights’ and ‘freedoms’, and because he appears to be motivated more by a desire to save the economy than lives.

“I don’t think he’s a callous uncaring human being, contrary to what some believe.

“I’m sure that beneath Trump’s typical self-aggrandising ‘I’m handling this beautifully’ self-confidence lies a guy secretly panicking at the rapidly escalating US coronavirus infection rate and death toll.

“And I’m also sure he believes with every fibre of his being that getting the economy going again will be crucial to America’s recovery from this crisis.”

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Mr Morgan’s tough words come after Mr Trump spoke of his desire to roll back the lockdowns implemented across the US.

Speaking to reporters during one of his daily briefings at the White House, the Republican president said America could not afford to continue with the stringent measures designed to curb the spread of the virus and save lives.

The strict rules have brought the country, and its $20-trillion economy, to a virtual standstill.

Mr Trump said: “America will, again, and soon, be open for business.

“Very soon. A lot sooner than three or four months that somebody was suggesting. Lot sooner.

“We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself.”

The president’s comments were followed by a tweet saying workers who have been sent home “want to return” to the workplace.

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He said employees would “practice social distancing and all else” if the lockdowns were lifted.

And in a statement that angered public health authorities and even members of his own party, Mr Trump said: “The cure cannot be worse (by far) than the problem!”

Mr Trump on Tuesday initially said he wanted to re-open the country by Easter Sunday, but later told reporters he would listen to recommendations from the nation’s top health officials.

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The closures have shocked America’s economy with global markets rattled by the pandemic.

US stock index futures initially rose on Wednesday before falling, with investors weighing forthcoming economic relief as Washington reached a deal on a $2 trillion stimulus package.

The strain of the fast-spreading disease, which Mr Trump has dubbed “the Chinese virus” accelerated across the US on Wednesday beyond the hot spots of New York, California and Washington state.

Louisiana and Iowa were declared federal disaster areas.

Mr Trump issued the disaster declarations late on Tuesday, freeing up federal funds to help combat the potentially lethal disease as it strains state and local resources nationwide.

Louisiana, where large crowds recently celebrated Mardi Gras in New Orleans and other parishes, has reported a spike in cases with 1,388 total confirmed cases and 46 deaths as of midday Tuesday, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.

Iowa, where officials announced the state’s first death from the coronavirus Tuesday night, has reported 124 confirmed cases.

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