'Great American Resurrection': Trump Wants America Open and 'Rarin' to Go' by Easter
During a virtual town hall with Fox News on Tuesday, President Donald Trump expressed hope that the social distancing procedures essentially shutting down a great deal of America's economy to fight the coronavirus might end by Easter Sunday.
"I would love to have the country opened up and rarin' to go by Easter," the president said.
Fox News host Bill Hemmer responded, "That would be a great American resurrection just two weeks from now."
Indeed, Easter Sunday — according to the Western Christian calendar — comes on April 12 this year (one week before the Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Easter). That would be two weeks from this coming Sunday.
The president insisted that it was possible for America to return to work by that date.
"People are going to have to practice all of the social distancing ... but our country wants to go back to work," Trump said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump insisted that Americans want to return to work.
"Our people want to return to work. They will practice Social Distancing and all else, and Seniors will be watched over protectively & lovingly. We can do two things together. THE CURE CANNOT BE WORSE (by far) THAN THE PROBLEM! Congress MUST ACT NOW. We will come back strong!" he tweeted.
Americans have embraced the social distancing strategy in order to isolate themselves and slow the spread of the coronavirus. On Tuesday, however, many Americans expressed the desire to "Reopen America."
"It is time to [reopen America]," Carmine Sabia tweeted. "I get that everyone on twitter is a health and economics expert but we are at a line in the sand where we enter a depression where it would take years to recover."
Radio host Austin Peterson noted that reopening America is not at odds with maintaining much of social distancing.
Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. partially reopened his college by inviting students to return to residence halls and faculty to report to campus even as classes move online. "I think we have a responsibility to our students — who paid to be here, who want to be here, who love it here — to give them the ability to be with their friends, to continue their studies, enjoy the room and board they’ve already paid for and to not interrupt their college life," Falwell said.
When the hard press for social distancing started, the Trump administration put out the slogan, "15 days to slow the spread." Easter Sunday would represent more than 15 days, but many fear it may not give enough time.
Robby Starbuck argued that "both staying home for months and the idea to [Reopen America] are not ideal situations. Both will have hardship, death and a myriad of other issues associated to it. If we close down for months: Depression, suicide, hunger, poverty, stroke & cardiovascular deaths will rise."
Americans can hope for a "great American resurrection" on Eastern Sunday, but they should not plan on it. Health professionals will need to re-examine the state of the virus at that point. That said, a great reopening is possible by Easter. That might be a good thing to pray for in this challenging time.
Tyler O'Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.