The Slatest

Trump Warns “There Will Be a Lot of Death” in “Toughest Week” for Coronavirus Crisis

President Donald Trump speaks at a press briefing with members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force on April 4, 2020 in Washington, D.C.
President Donald Trump speaks at a press briefing with members of the White House Coronavirus Task Force on April 4, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

President Donald Trump issued a stark warning to Americans on Saturday, saying there will be “a lot of death” in the country as COVID-19 infections keep increasing. “This will probably be the toughest week, between this week and next week,” Trump said. “And there will be a lot of death, unfortunately.” The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States surged past the 300,000-mark Saturday with more than 8,100 killed, of which more than 3,500 are in the state of New York.

The president said that the Pentagon will be deploying 1,000 medical personnel to New York as part of an effort to get more assistance to states. “We are going to be adding a tremendous amount of military to help supplement the states,” Trump said. “Thousands of soldiers, thousands of medical workers, professional nurses, doctors.” Defense Secretary Mark Esper will be giving more details about the deployments Sunday. “They’re going into war,” Trump said. “They’re going into a battle that they’ve never really trained for.”

Even as Trump warned of the problems ahead for the country and vowed that the government would use “every single resource we’ve got to keep our people healthy, safe, secure and to get this thing over with,” he also suggested he wanted a quick end to the social distancing measures. “We have to open our country again,” Trump said. “We have to open our country again. We don’t want to be doing this for months and months and months.” Health officials continued to urge Americans to take social distancing seriously. “I want to actually just plea … to the American public, you know, as sobering and as difficult as this is, what we are doing is making a difference,” said Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “So we really need to continue to do that.”

Trump once again continued pushing hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for the coronavirus and even suggested he could start taking it as a preventive measure. “If it were me — in fact, I might do it anyway. I may take it, okay? I may take it,” he said. “And I’ll have to ask my doctors about that, but I may take it.”