WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said on Friday that he refuses to have another lockdown as coronavirus cases surge across the country, but suggested one could be in the offing should he lose his legal challenges to overcome his election loss to President-elect Joe Biden.
Trump, who spoke publicly for the first time since his defeat, repeated his long-held argument that government restrictions meant to stem the virus cause more problems than they solve. But Trump, who has refused to concede his election loss, made clear that the decision might not be up to him.
“This administration will not be going to a lockdown,” he said. “Hopefully whatever happens in the future, who knows, which administration it will be, I guess time will tell, but I can tell you this administration will not go to a lockdown.”
Biden has not said whether he would order a lockdown.
In the week since he defeated Trump, Biden has devoted most of his public remarks to encouraging Americans to wear a mask and view the coronavirus as a threat that has no regard for political ideology.
Trump touted the fast progress in getting a vaccine available to counter the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 240,000 people in the United States. No vaccine has been formally approved, but Trump said one could be available to the general public as soon as April.
He called U.S. work on the vaccine the “single greatest mobilization in U.S. history” in pioneering and developing vaccines and therapies in record time -- five times faster than the 8 to 12 years it normally takes.
There have been more than 100,000 new confirmed U.S. cases reported daily for more than a week.