President Donald Trump announced new guidelines on Monday in response to the coronavirus outbreak, including recommending that people avoid groups of more than 10 people for the next 15 days.
“We’ve made the decision to further toughen the guidelines and blunt the infection now,” Trump said at the White House.
The guidelines are titled ‘The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America: 15 days to slow the spread.’
The administration is advising Americans to avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people, discretionary travel, and eating and drinking in bars and restaurants.
Trump stated his experts are also calling for students to be schooled at home when possible.
“If everyone makes this change, or these critical changes and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus,” he added. “We’re going to have a big celebration all together.”
“With several weeks of focused action, we can turn the corner and turn it quickly,” Trump said.
The president went on to announce that a vaccine has been developed that is currently undergoing the phase 1 clinical trial with the Food and Drug Administration.
“This is one of the fastest vaccine development launches in history,” he said.
Regarding the new guidelines, Dr. Anthony Fauci, with the National Institutes of Health, said, “It isn’t an overreaction,” noting at the outbreak of an infectious disease, “you are always behind where you think you are.”
Trump responded to reports that he planned to put in place a national curfew, saying that he does not intend to at this time.
“We haven’t really determined to do that at all,” he said. “And hopefully we won’t have to. That’s a very big step. It’s a step we can take, but we haven’t decided to do it.”
“At this point, not nationwide,” the chief executive added, referring to a nationwide lockdown. “We may look at certain areas, certain hotspots as they call them.”
When asked when he believes the country may turn the corner on containing the virus, Trump said it could be well into the summer.
“If we do a really good job, we’ll not only hold the death down to a level that is much lower than the other way, had we not done a good job, but people are talking about July, August, something like that,” he explained.
Vice President Mike Pence, who Trump has tapped to lead the administration’s coronavirus response, explained the purpose of the new, stronger guidelines is to slow the spread of the virus.
“This guidance for the next 15 days is what our experts say is the best opportunity we have to lower the infection rate over the entire course of the coronavirus,” Pence said.
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) March 16, 2020
“This is advice on behalf of the president of the United States, to every American, what you can do over the next 15 days to prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” he added.
“We’re called on every American to do your part, because together we’ll get through this and we’ll find our way forward,” Pence said.
The new guidance advising Americans not to gather in groups of more than 10 people over the next 15 days came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended on Sunday the canceling or postponing of gatherings of over 50 people for the next eight weeks.
Following Monday’s news conference, Trump addressed the issue of food shortages at grocery stores.
“Yesterday I spoke with the great American Grocers and Supply Chain Executives. We are confident that supply will continue to meet demand nationwide,” he tweeted.
Yesterday I spoke with the great American Grocers and Supply Chain Executives. We are confident that supply will continue to meet demand nationwide. These beacons of our community will remain open for you, no matter what. We are working hard to remove any barriers to that effort!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 16, 2020
“These beacons of our community will remain open for you, no matter what. We are working hard to remove any barriers to that effort!”
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