US President Donald Trump initially wanted to hold the G7 summit at one of his own resorts
US President Donald Trump initially wanted to hold the G7 summit at one of his own resorts AFP / SAUL LOEB

President Donald Trump confirmed Thursday he is “not closing our country” again even if a second wave of COVID-19 hits the United States. Scientists and medical experts have repeatedly warned a resurgence may happen later this year and could cause a higher death toll.

During his tour of the Ford factory in Michigan, Trump told reporters he doesn’t plan on shutting down the U.S. economy again despite reports of a possible surge in cases of COVID-19 throughout fall and winter. The president has been pushing for the reopening of states despite the continued increase in the number of cases across the country.

“People say that’s a very distinct possibility, it’s standard,” said Trump.

“We are going to put out the fires. We’re not going to close the country … We can put out the fires. Whether it is an ember or a flame, we are going to put it out. But we are not closing our country.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease doctor and director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has warned a second round of coronavirus is “inevitable.”

"If by that time we have put into place all of the countermeasures that you need to address this, we should do reasonably well," Fauci said. "If we don't do that successfully, we could be in for a bad fall and a bad winter."

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield had the same sentiments but moved a step further. He said the assault the virus will have in winter will be “more difficult” as it will coincide with the flu season.

“When I’ve said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don’t understand what I mean. We’re going to have the flu epidemic and the coronavirus epidemic at the same time," Redfield explained.

So far, all 50 states have begun reopening businesses. Over 38 million workers have filed unemployment claims in the past two months, and the reopening aims to pick the battered economy up. The U.S. started its lockdown in mid-March.

According to Johns Hopkins University, as of May 22, 9:30 p.m. EST, there are 1,576,886 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and 94,688 deaths.