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Trump Reveals New Social-Distancing Guidelines Will Be Applied on a County-by-County Basis

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President Donald Trump outlined a plan to the nation’s governors in a letter on Thursday calling for a relaxing of the administration’s social-distancing guidelines in counties that are at a low risk of being affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

Trump’s plan calls for expanded coronavirus testing throughout the United States so that counties can categorized as high, medium or low risk.

The administration is developing new guidelines it will publish based on the three different risk levels.

“With each passing day, our increasingly extensive testing capabilities are giving us a better understanding of the virus and its path,” the president wrote.

“As testing gives us more information about who has been infected, we are tracking the virus and isolating it to prevent further spread. This new information will drive the next phase in our war against this invisible enemy.”

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Trump appeared to give a nod to his stated goal of getting at least part of the country back up and running as normally as possible by Easter Sunday, which is April 12.

“There is still a long battle ahead, but our efforts are already paying dividends,” he wrote.

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“As we enhance protections against the virus, Americans across the country are hoping the day will soon arrive when they can resume their normal economic, social, and religious lives.”

Churches, like many businesses nationwide, have had to close their doors and go online during the coronavirus pandemic.

Easter is normally one of the highest church attendance days each year, as Christians celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ following his death by Roman crucifixion three days before.

Passover, one of the most important holidays on the Jewish calendar, also falls on the week preceding Easter.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told NPR on Thursday that the increased testing will help the administration get a stronger picture of COVID-19’s penetration into the country and drive the new social guidelines that will be adopted.

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“To be honest, we don’t have all that data now uniformly throughout the country to make those determinations,” he said. “But that’s a major, primary goal that we have right now, is to get those data, because you have to make informed decisions and your decisions are informed by the information you have.”

Multiple states, including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, California and Washington, have issued stay-at-home orders.

As of Thursday afternoon, nearly 520,000 Americans had been tested for the coronavirus, with just over 80,000 testing positive, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

New York state makes up nearly half of the positive tests, with about 37,000.

New York is followed by neighboring New Jersey with approximately 6,900 cases, California with more than 3,000, Michigan with roughly 2,900 and Washington with about 2,500.

Some of the states with the least number of confirmed cases are mostly in the western and mid-western parts of the country, including Montana, North and South Dakota, New Mexico, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Hawaii and Alaska, as well as West Virginia in the east.

Trump closed his letter on an upbeat note, writing, “Through it all, I am deeply inspired by the unflinching dedication of Americans in every state who are rallying together to defeat the virus.

“I look forward to witnessing that same boundless spirit drive our recovery and quickly return us to the path of exceptional health, safety, and prosperity for all of our citizens.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Birthplace
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated dean's list from West Point
Education
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Location
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith




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