President Donald Trump had a "very tough choice" to make when deciding to work to reopen the economy at a time when coronavirus deaths continue to grow, but had to deal with the fact that locking the economy down "indirectly kills Americans," Peter Navarro, director of the White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy, said Monday.
“We’re trying to simultaneously protect the American people from the effects of the China virus killing them directly, but it’s also true that the lockdown indirectly kills Americans through the economic effects with higher suicide rates, depression, alcoholism, drug addiction, and all that," Navarro said on Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "What the president has been trying to do is to thread that needle, and really, it’s the most difficult decision that a president’s ever had to make."
Navarro pointed out that the original projections were that up to 2 million Americans would die if no mitigation or containment efforts were made. Over the weekend, Trump had revised current death estimates up, going from 60,000 to saying up to 100,000 Americans could die.
Navarro also on Monday said Trump's comments about expecting a COVID-19 vaccine by the year's end could happen, because "we said we could do it faster in Trump time."
"I do think with the horse race going on now for the vaccine, for five different firms, we will certainly see where we are at," said Navarro. "What's important is that as we are doing the science at the clinical trials that we also have the production necessary so we have the pipettes in the needles and everything should we be able to administer a vaccine."
Navarro, meanwhile, said he hasn't been looking for signs that China could walk away from the promises it made in the first phase of the trade deal, as he's been more focused on the supply chain.
"I think what's important for the American people to understand very clearly is China lied, people died is the slogan," said Navarro.
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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