Donald Trump does not plan to shut down the U.S. again despite warnings of a second wave of COVID-19. Earlier this week, experts warned that a second wave of the pandemic was set to hit parts of the South and Midwest as all 50 states lifted restrictions.

On Thursday, Donald Trump sternly refused to place the U.S. on lockdown again even if coronavirus infections rise again in the future. “We’re not going to close the country—we’re going to put out the fires,” he said. The president made the statement as the country recorded 25,000 new infections and at least 1,278 coronavirus-related deaths that day.

Health officials have said the risk of a second wave of COVID-19 in the U.S. is high, especially when the normal flu season starts between late fall and early winter. Despite warnings that the second wave might overwhelm the country’s healthcare system, however, Trump expressed confidence that the country would be able to contain any flare-ups that might occur. “Whether it’s an ember or a flame, we’re going to put it out,” he said. “But we’re not closing our country,” he added.

Trump made the statement at the Ford plant in Michigan, where he wore a mask in compliance with the facility’s requirements. After delivering his speech, however, he told reporters he only wore a mask for that part of the tour, so he had taken it off before facing the cameras. “I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it,” he said.

Trump’s behavior prompted Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel to describe the president as a stubborn child. “The president is like a petulant child who refuses to follow the rules,” she said.

Meanwhile, Trump ordered flags over federal buildings and monuments in the U.S. from Friday through Sunday to honor the Americans who have lost their lives due to the coronavirus. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer had also asked Trump to order flags lowered when the COVID-19 death toll in the country reached 100,000 on Thursday.

Donald Trump Donald Trump Photo: Getty Images