WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he would like to see U.S. businesses reopen by Easter, which is April 12 this year.
"I’d love to have it (businesses) open by Easter. I will tell you that right now," he said on Fox News during a discussion of U.S. economic shutdowns aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
The pandemic has killed more than 580 people in the United States and sickened more than 46,160, shuttered thousands of businesses, thrown millions out of work and led state governors to order about 100 million people -- nearly a third of the nation's population -- to stay at home.
Meanwhile, the president is prepared to use the Defense Production Act, but industry has been stepping forward, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Fox News on Tuesday.
He also said that the White House coronavirus task force has not discussed a nationwide lockdown, as has been done in other countries to counter the spread of the coronavirus.
Pence said during a Fox News town hall that Trump initiated the act that allows the president to mandate production, but added: "Every time we've asked American industry to step forward, they've said yes. No one has said 'no.'"