Trump wants more coronavirus resources to high-risk groups to allow for end to lockdowns

U.S. President Donald Trump talks about a U.S. jobs report amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic as he addresses a news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 5, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said on Friday he wanted to focus on battling the coronavirus in high-risk populations as he pushes to open the United States’ economy further.

“The best strategy to ensure the health of our people moving forward is to focus our resources on protecting high-risk populations, like the elderly and those in nursing homes, while allowing younger and healthy Americans to get back to work immediately,” Trump said in remarks at the White House Rose Garden.

Trump called for schools to reopen and a sweeping end to the stay-at-home orders instituted by states in a bid to curb the spread of the virus that has sickened 1.9 million people and killed more than 108,000 in the United States.

But the novel coronavirus has not affected all groups equally. Nursing homes and the elderly have been particularly hard hit. In New York City, which was for a while the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, the virus was deadliest in neighborhoods with large African-American and Latino populations. Not all jurisdictions have released coronavirus data related to race.

States have allowed businesses that had been shuttered to reopen at least partially, but there have been variations in their approaches from state to state. Public health experts have warned of a possible spike in cases from opening up.

“We want the continued blanket lockdowns to end for these states,” Trump said.

Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis