Trump says it’s time to reopen country, admits ‘there will be more deaths’

President continues to reiterate the unsubstantiated claim that the virus would 'pass'

In an exclusive interview, President Donald J. Trump admitted that “it’s possible there will be some” deaths as the country moves toward reopening.

In an exclusive interview with World News Tonight, President Donald J. Trump admitted that “it’s possible there will be some” deaths as the country moves toward reopening.

In the interview with ABCNews show anchor David Muir, Trump said that more death will be possible, “because you won’t be locked into an apartment or house, or whatever it is.”

READ MORE: Chris Christie says U.S. should reopen: ‘There are going to be deaths’

The president went on to say, “But at the same time, we’re going to practice social distancing, we’re going to be washing hands, we’re going to be doing a lot of the things that we’ve learned to do over the last period of time.”

The interview took place in Phoenix where Trump was visiting a Honeywell facility which makes masks. The President himself did not wear a mask.

Trump also reiterated the unsubstantiated claim that the virus would “pass.”

“I think we’re doing very well on the vaccines but, with or without a vaccine, it’s going to pass, and we’re going to be back to normal,” Trump said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci (R), director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, while flanked by President Donald Trump during the daily coronavirus task force briefing in the Brady Briefing room at the White House on March 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci has said the exact opposite. The Director of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases has gone on record saying that the U.S. “could be in for a bad fall,” if research into an effective treatment to fight coronavirus is not developed quickly.

Additionally, Vice President Mike Pence told reporters that the coronavirus task force could be disbanded within a month because “of the tremendous progress we’ve made as a country.”

Over 70,000 people in the United States have died from coronavirus and the country leads the world in infects with over 1.2 million confirmed cases. White House modeling shows that infections continue to rise nationally, while leveling off in some places.

READ MORE: U.S. coronavirus deaths may be far higher than initially reported

Still, Trump is committed to reopening the country arguing that the damage to the economy is also killing people. “People are dying the other way, too.” said Trump. “When you look at what’s happened with drugs, it goes up. When you look at suicides, I mean, take a look at what’s going on. People are losing their jobs. We have to bring it back and that’s what we’re doing.”

READ MORE: California teen, 15, may have committed suicide over stay-at-home order

There is no documented evidence that there has been a rise in suicide. However, some experts do worry that the self-isolation could contribute to an uptick in death by suicide.

Last month, the chief of psychology services at VA Puget Sound Health Care System in Seattle, Mark Reger, published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry the following warning, “Social distancing may increase economic stress, social isolation, and loneliness for some people.”

“All of these possibilities are concerning from a suicide prevention perspective, especially among those who were already at high risk before the crisis, like those with a recent suicide attempt,” he continued.