Trump vows US will soon be open for business

The president could re-examine easing possible business restrictions contrary to care advisories after the novel coronavirus has killed more than 550 people in the U.S.
7:50 | 03/24/20

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Transcript for Trump vows US will soon be open for business
Take a look at these volunteers on Long Island gathering donations of much needed medical supplies. So many out there trying to do their small part to help out. Every bit does help. Take a look at this testing site in New Jersey right now. They're expecting long lines again today and as the governor said, the cases are going to increase as there is more testing. Here's what we know right now. The number of cases worldwide has grown to more than 380,000 and the number of confirmed cases in the United States tops more than 45,000. Also here as the president is straining against that right now saying we must open up our country again, adding he's not looking at months. The lists of states with orders telling people to stay home or for nonessential businesses to close keeps growing. Massachusetts, Michigan, new Mexico and West Virginia are closing nonessential businesses today. Indiana, Virginia and Washington state closing them tomorrow. And Florida's governor has ordered anyone entering the state from areas with significant community spread, meaning New York and New Jersey, must isolate for 14 days. FEMA administrator Peter Gaynor is standing by to talk us to us live as New York City's mayor calling this the epicenter of the spread in the U.S. Now more than 12,000 cases, 35% of all cases in the country, and that is where we begin our coverage. Tom llamas is at the javits here in Manhattan. Good morning, Tom. Reporter: Good morning. New York leaders are wasting no time. Serious work on the javits center should start later today and even as new hot Zones are popping up all over the country including in Louisiana, there's a debate right now at the white house on whether to ease some of the restrictions in place to stop the chokehold on the economy. This morning, despite growing warnings the coronavirus could spread for months, president trump signaling he wants America back in business. We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself. Reporter: Next week the white house set to re-examine social distancing, possibly easing restrictions that could allow some businesses to re-open. The president acknowledging this is contrary to what health care professionals are advising but defends his thinking, saying the mortality rate right now in the U.S. Is 1%. If it were up to the doctors, they would say let's keep it shut down, let's shut down the entire world. Reporter: The virus has killed more than 550 people in America and the world health organization now declaring the pandemic is accelerating. More than 300,000 cases of covid-19 have now been reported to the W.H.O. From almost every Reporter: In the New York City area, 1 in every 1,000 people now have covid-19, five times the rate in other parts of the country. New York governor Andrew Cuomo calling on all hospitals to increase their capacity by 50%. You're going to see the number of infections, the number of cases increase dramatically. Reporter: On Monday, FEMA workers began overhauling the city's javits center into a makeshift hospital. 1,000 beds being set up to handle some of the overflow of city patients. Cuomo also announcing the state is beginning trials today for a drug combination, the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, and zith row max, also known as a Z pack, and asking the fda for a testing approval for treatment. It's only a trial. It's a trial for people who are in serious condition. Reporter: But New York surging cases alarming other states. The governor Florida citing travelers flying in from new York or New Jersey to do a mandatory self-isolation for 14 days. Hopefully that will be a deterrent for people if you're simply trying to escape here to avoid restrictions that have been put in place in your own Reporter: On the west coast, the mercy leaving San Diego bound for Los Angeles set to arrive Thursday morning. The ship will ease the burden on local hospitals. A staff of more than 1,000 medical personnel will be treating noncoronavirus infected patients. Enthusiasm is very high for this mission. This is exactly what Navy medicine trains to do and we are ready to execute. Reporter: And across the country, a call to health care workers, even those retired or those who have changed careers to jump in and help aid in the I'm the wrong demographic. I'm in my 60s, but I have a set of skills that are needed that are important and that are going to be in very short supply in a very short period of time. Reporter: The virus initially thought to put the elderly most at risk now hitting younger Americans. Nationwide nearly half of those flooding icus are 20 to 64. 36-year-old Laura Wolfson contracted the virus after attending aa conference in she's now fully recovered and sharing her experience on Facebook. You don't need to be feeling sick to have this and I guess that's my big point to drive home. Reporter: In an essay for "The New York Times," 26-year-old writer Fiona loan stein who tested positive and was hospitalized for two days urging her generation to take this seriously. I want to put a call out to people my age that if you can't do this for your parents or grandparents, please do it for yourself because it can get really real really fast. Reporter: We also want to mention the situation right now in Louisiana. The newspapers down there, the advocate and the "Times" are reporting right now in new Orleans they have one of the highest infection rates in the world. If you're asking yourself why, it's because of the timing. According to experts, it's all in the timing. Covid-19 gets to America, then mardi gras happens and there's the widespread panic in the U.S. Right now local leaders are sounding the alarm, George. Tom, thanks very much. We move on to Washington where negotiators continue to hammer out a nearly $2 trillion rescue package for the economy all but shut down by this coronavirus emergency. Terry Moran tracking the latest. Terry, we see markets rising overnight on a belief that the deal is closed. Reporter: That's right, George, good morning. It does look like a deal is close. Dramatic developments late into the night. Just before midnight treasury secretary Steve mnuchin and chuck Schumer emerged to say that package is just about there. The main sticking point, a half a trillion dollar bailout fund for U.S. Corporations. Democrats called it a slush fund for Wall Street. They were demanding more transparency about where that money will go. In the end mnuchin agreed to quote strict oversight. They wanted more money for they got it, a lot more. It looks like this deal is just Terry, we were all watching the president yesterday. This tension between the health care officials who are calling for extended shutdowns and the president's concern over what's going to happen to the economy very, very real right now and getting this balance right is going to be critical. Reporter: That is the main question before president trump and leaders of every country in the world. It is a choice, a horrible choice, striking the balance between saving as many lives as possible and saving as much of the economy as possible. The problem for America is in order to open up and the president says he wants to do it in weeks, not months, you need near universal testing. We're nowhere near that and the virus is upon us. And it is accelerating. Thanks very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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