(Adds quote, coronavirus death toll)
WASHINGTON, March 24 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that coronavirus restrictions, which have shut down businesses in many places across the country, could themselves lead to suicides or other fatalities.
“You’re going to lose more people by putting a country into a massive recession or depression. You’re going to lose people. You’re going to have suicides by the thousands,” the president said on Fox News Channel.
The president cited no evidence to support the assertion.
“We have to get our country back to work. Our country wants to be back at work,” Trump said. “This cure is worse than the problem. Again, people, many people - in my opinion more people - are going to die if we allow this to continue. We have to go back to work. Our people want to go back to work.”
The outbreak has infected more than 50,000 people in the United States and killed at least 660, shuttered thousands of businesses, thrown millions out of work and led state governors to order about 100 million people - nearly a third of the nation’s population - to stay at home. (Reporting by Diane Bartz Editing by Chris Reese and Howard Goller)
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