Trump challenged on his early bid to reopen economy

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING:

"America will again and soon be open for business, very soon. A lot sooner than three or four months that somebody was suggesting.

As U.S. President Donald Trump appears eager to lift restrictions that have forced the American economy to grind to a halt, health experts and investors who spoke to Reuters say that plan could dangerously backfire - leading to both a higher death count and people too scared to go out, as the coronavirus cases and deaths continue to rise in the U.S.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING:

"We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself. We're not going to let the cure be worse than the problem."

But as the economy has ground to a halt, the estimates of the economic fallout has grown rapidly bleaker - with one fed president predicting U.S. unemployment could hit 30%.

Now the president is urging his administration to reassess whether to keep the economy shuttered at the end of the 15-day period - which ends next week.

On Tuesday, the president tweeted "Our people want to return to work. They will practice social distancing and all else, and seniors will be watched over protectively & lovingly. We can do two things together."

But health experts are pushing back. Former U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb tweeted it should "not be lost on anyone that there's no such thing as a functioning economy and society so long as COVID-19 continues to spread uncontrolled in our biggest cities"

That sentiment shared by some investors.

Axel Merk, chief investment officer of Merk Investments telling Reuters: "Markets will react badly because they have learned that this approach doesn’t work...From a medical point of view, you have to break the exponential growth and you do that with shelter in place policies.”

It is unclear what power Trump actually has to simply turn the economy back on by executive order.

Many of the most strident social distancing edicts are coming from the nation’s governors.

The cost of a mistake could be deadly. A March 16 study by Imperial college in London predicts that without mitigation measures- there could be over 2 million deaths in the U.S., with infections overwhelming hospitals, and critical care bed capacity exceeded as early as the second week in April.

And on Tuesday the world health organization warned- that even with the current measures in place - the United States could soon become the global epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.