Coronavirus: US alcohol sales jump 22 per cent during lockdown

'Staying at home leads to death, also,' says president as he mulls order to reopen part – or all – of country

John T. Bennett
Monday 13 April 2020 21:20 BST
GMA host George Stephanopoulos reveals he has tested positive for coronavirus

Alcohol sales in the United States jumped 22 per cent during the last week in March, continuing a coronavirus lockdown trend as Donald Trump has warned that the pandemic could lead to deaths from depression.

Americans are turning to the bottle to cope with the national shutdown, which has shuttered businesses, schools and bars – with many people working from home or suddenly laid off.

Beer, cider and other kinds of booze were up 17 per cent more than the same week in March of last year. The increase was staggering for online alcohol sales: a 291 per cent increase over the same week in 2019.

Health experts have warned that the virus crisis could be detrimental to people's health, and the president has warned that keeping the population mostly at home much longer could lead to deaths among the uninfected.

Mr Trump has mentioned depression and addiction as reasons to open the country soon. He claims sole legal authority to give such an order, even as governors on both coasts team up to do so in clusters – poised to ignore an order Mr Trump has signalled could come "soon."

"I just ... want to say that, you know, you talk to about couldn't it lead to death, meaning you open up, could lead to death. And, you are right, but you know what, staying at home leads to death, also," the president claimed on Friday.

"And it is very traumatic for this country, but staying at home, if you look at numbers, that leads to a different kind of death," he told reporters, not explaining those numbers or citing a source. "But it leads to death, also.

"So, it's a very big decision," Mr Trump said of the open order he says he and he alone can legally give. "As I say, it's the biggest decision I'll ever make."

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