Sen. Cotton: Federal government must ‘exercise caution’ or coronavirus pandemic will worsen

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The federal government must exercise caution in the days to come or risk worsening the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., warned Wednesday.

Appearing on “Fox & Friends” with host Steve Doocy, Cotton said that while he would love to see America back up and running by Easter – as President Trump suggested Tuesday – the one thing that can’t happen is a “relaxing of some of the restrictions on public activities and then a resurgence of the pandemic.”

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“Ultimately, this is going to be a multifaceted response,” he stated. “It’s going to require more testing and more personal protective equipment for our doctors and our nurses, making sure that none of our hospitals – whether it’s in rural Arkansas or in New York City – are overwhelmed not just by coronavirus cases but by other cases needing intensive care, and then also taking [an] assessment of conditions on a regional or even local basis.”

Trump argued during a Fox News town hall Tuesday he doesn’t want “to turn the country off” and see a continued economic downfall from the pandemic. He also said he worries the U.S. will see “suicides by the thousands” if coronavirus devastates the economy.

“We lose thousands and thousands of people a year to the flu. We don’t turn the country off,” Trump said.

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“Now, remember, the president didn’t ‘shut down the country,'” Cotton remarked. “These are decisions that are being made by governors and by mayors at the local and state level based on conditions in their state.”

Cotton told Doocy that whenever America is going to “get back on our feet” it’s going to happen on a rolling basis in places that either haven’t been devastated by the deadly virus or have the virus “under control.”

“So, you won’t just see a single nationwide set of conditions,” he explained. “I think you see it down to the local and state level as the president and the federal government works with our governors and our mayors.”

Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.