Recently, President Donald Trump displayed his insistence on taking the coronavirus pandemic lightly when he mocked the advice of medical experts and declared that he was considering easing up on the social distancing guidelines the US is observing after March 31. Shocked by his statements, a top public health expert has expressed the consequences if Trump went forward with his “considerations”- coronavirus would spread rapidly and widely, killing millions. 

As the lockdown has been a massive financial blow to businesses, Trump is of the opinion that “we’re not going to let the cure be worse than the problem.”

The warning of the impending doomed future if Trump really lifts the strict measures comes from Tom Inglesby, the director of the Center for Health Security at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

“Anyone advising the end of social distancing now needs to fully understand what the country will look like if we do that,” Inglesby wrote in a series of tweets. “COVID would spread widely, rapidly, terribly, could kill potentially millions in the yr ahead with huge social and economic impact across the country.”

Already with more than 46,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the US, some hospitals have said publicly that “within a week they will not have ventilators to treat everyone with COVID anymore.” 

“There continue to be big diagnostic limitations. ... There continue to be terrible shortages in the masks that health care workers need to keep from getting sick with this disease,” Inglesby tweeted. “These big social distancing measures take time to work.  The impact of big interventions in Wuhan China took about 3 wks to start to reverse things. And then every day after the situation got better.  In the US, we're about 7 to 10 days into this, depending on the state.”

If the measures are removed now, “COVID [patients] will get sick in extraordinary numbers all over the country”- something that the US health care system would not be able to handle.  “Many models report that health care systems will be completely overwhelmed/collapse by the peak of cases if major social distancing is not put in place,” he wrote. “Before considering big changes to social distancing measures now, we should as quickly as possible get to the strongest possible position for COVID response ― we’re nowhere near that now.”

So, instead of planning risky moves like getting rid of the social distancing guidelines, the US should equip itself with medical masks and ventilators while working on reducing the number of COVID-19 cases. And till that isn’t achieved, “we need to press ahead for now [with] closed schools, mass telecommuting, no gatherings, strong advisory to stay home.”

Coronavirus COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Donald Trump Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks as U.S. President Donald Trump looks on during a briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, in the press briefing room of the White House on March 24, 2020 in Washington, DC. Cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the United States, with New York's case count doubling every three days according to Governor Andrew Cuomo. Drew Angerer/Getty Images