President Trump has put a date on his desire to have the US running at normal speed: Easter, which is a little less three weeks away. Trump made the comments at the White House while participating in a virtual town hall for Fox News, reports CNBC. "We’re opening up this incredible country," he said. "Because we have to do that. I would love to have it open by Easter." Trump has said in recent days he's worried that a prolonged shutdown would cause more damage to the US than the coronavirus itself. Critics fear that easing up on travel restrictions will worsen the pandemic in the US, but Trump argued the alternative is worse. "We’re going to lose more people by putting a country into a massive recession or depression," he said. "The other people, you’re going to have suicide by the thousands, you’re going to have all sorts of things happen."
Easter this year falls on April 12. "I would love to have that," said Trump. "It’s such an important day for other reasons, but I’d love to make it an important day for this. I would love to have the country opened up, and rarin' to go by Easter." Earlier this month, Trump laid out a 15-day plan to slow the spread of the virus, and that period ends on March 30. "We'll assess at that time," said Trump, per the Washington Post. His comments come amid a continued rise in cases. Earlier Tuesday, the World Health Organization warned that the US is poised to become the new "epicenter" of the pandemic, reports Reuters. In the last 24 hours, 40% of the world's new cases came from the US, says a WHO spokesperson. The current US total is just shy of 50,000, per the New York Times. The US death toll is 615. (Read more coronavirus stories.)