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President Trump: 'We're not going to close the country,' even if there's a second wave of COVID-19

Learning from the past

Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Donald Trump said Thursday in Michigan that the country would not shut down during a potential second wave of COVID-19 in the same way it has over the previous two months, Fox News reported.

Some experts predict a fall or winter resurgence of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, and those predictions have led some governors to be more hesitant to reopen their states as virus spread gradually slows.

"People say that's a very distinct possibility," Trump said of a second wave. "It's standard. And, we're going put out the fires. We're not going to close the country."

The president's comments indicate he now favors a more targeted coronavirus response in the future, now that there is more available information about the virus and who it impacts most severely.

The economic toll of widespread lockdowns has been devastating. Nearly 40 million people have filed for unemployment since late March, and a recent survey showed that half of all small businesses could be in danger of failing if the lockdowns continue.

Rather than widespread shelter-in-place orders, some public health experts argue that future pandemic policies should focus more on the elderly, the immunocompromised, and others with underlying conditions that put them at higher risk of serious illness or death from COVID-19.

Perhaps the most significant public health revelation of the past two months is the percentage of U.S. coronavirus deaths that have been nursing home residents. The New York Times reported that approximately one-third of all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are from nursing homes.

In some states, that percentage is even greater. The Guardian reported that 72% of coronavirus deaths in New Hampshire were from nursing homes, as well as half of the deaths in Connecticut. In New York, the epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, nearly 6,000 people from nursing homes have died of the virus.

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