With President Donald Trump looking to restart the American economy by Easter, despite the coronavirus pandemic continuing to spread across the nation, Fox News contributor Dr. Marc Siegel suggested on Wednesday that the president could re-open the rest of the country while locking down New York City, which he called the “second Wuhan.”
On Fox’s early afternoon talk show Outnumbered, co-host Melissa Francis claimed that Trump’s suggestion that his administration may soon end social-distancing guidelines amid the crisis was simply the president “trying to put out aspirational ideas that maybe we can get to.”
She went on to surmise that the president likely wasn’t talking about a “total reopening” because places like New York have been hit particularly hard. However, she said, Trump setting Easter as a “beacon of hope” is “meaningful” for religious people such as herself.
“What are your thoughts on maybe getting everyone’s hopes up?” Francis asked Siegel. “Or is this a good idea?”
Siegel, a member of Fox News’ “Medical A-Team,” said the president “has an idea that might be useful here,” adding that the focus should largely be on New York City while lessening restrictions in other parts of the country.
“Let’s find out everybody in New York who actually has this,” he said. “Let’s focus on New York. Maybe, with the weather warming up, we can loosen things in areas like Montana or North Dakota where people are living far apart to begin with.”
“Maybe reinvigorating business would be the right thing to do,” Siegel continued. “With this being such an epicenter here, I think we have to look at it like—and please excuse this—the second Wuhan. New York is the second Wuhan.”
Pointing out that Wuhan—the Chinese city where the virus reportedly originated—ended up being quarantined and locked down while the rest of China “went about its business,” the physician said he would “like to see that here.”
“I want us to focus on New York and loosen things up elsewhere,” said Siegel, who recently said the “worst-case scenario” for coronavirus was “it could be the flu."
Anchor Harris Faulkner, meanwhile, provided Siegel with a chance to amend his remarks. Considering that other parts of the country have now experienced spikes in confirmed cases, Faulkner asked if “there was a chance” that people have fanned out from New York and that “we’ll see other hot spots” as the virus moves across the country.
“Yeah, I think that’s a really fair point,” he replied. “It’s sounding like L.A. may become another hot spot. I’m glad you gave me a chance to restate that.”
“It’s hot spots I want focused on, more than just New York,” Siegel concluded. “New York, L.A., Seattle, San Francisco. But maybe not Billings, Montana. We should look at each case differently and that will help our economy.”
As of publication, per the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, there have been 55,000+ confirmed cases of coronavirus nationwide resulting in over 800 deaths. Governors and mayors across the country have instituted shelter-in-place orders in an effort to stem the spread of the virus and “flatten the curve.”
The Fox News doc endorsing Trump's possible plan to reopen the economy comes on the heels of several other Fox personalities pushing the president to quickly bring to an end social-distancing restrictions.