Chris Christie Pushes For U.S. To Reopen, Saying People Will Die “No Matter What”

The former New Jersey governor's remarks — which followed President Trump’s claim that the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus outbreak could reach 100,000 — were met with criticism.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pushed for the U.S. to reopen quickly despite the risk of tens of thousands more Americans dying, saying, “there are going to be deaths no matter what.”

Health officials have warned against ending social distancing measures too soon, yet some local governors and mayors have started to lift restrictions.

"Of course, everybody wants to save every life they can — but the question is, towards what end, ultimately?" Christie asked CNN anchor Dana Bash Monday on The Daily DC Podcast. “Are there ways that we can... thread the middle here to allow that there are going to be deaths, and there are going to be deaths no matter what?"

Bash then asked Christie if he thought people would be able to accept the country reopening after President Trump claimed on Sunday at Fox News’ virtual town hall that the U.S. death toll from the outbreak could reach 100,000. Christie responded, “They're gonna have to."

"We're in the midst of a pandemic that we haven't seen in over 100 years," Christie continued. "And we're going to have to continue to do things."

People were quick to call out Christie’s comments regarding the projected death toll of America reopens. 

Others called out his past shutdown-related scandals. In 2017, then-Gov. Christie  ordered a state government shutdown in New Jersey because of a budget standoff, but was later spotted basking on one of the beaches that he had closed to the public. 

Dozens of states, including Georgia and Iowa, have started or announced plans to partially reopen in recent weeks. Others are weighing when and how to start opening nonessential businesses and ease social distancing measures put in place to curb the virus’ spread. The hard-hit state of New York has also released guidelines that different regions have to meet before they can lighten restrictions.