A somber President Donald Trump warned the nation Tuesday that before America achieves its victory over the coronavirus, the nation faces a “very, very painful two weeks.”
“Our country is in the midst of a great national trial, unlike any we have ever faced before,” Trump said at the coronavirus task force’s daily news briefing.
“We’re at war with a deadly virus. Success in this fight will require the full absolute measure of our collective strength, love and devotion,” the president said.
“It’s very important. Each of us has the power through our own choices and actions to save American lives and rescue the most vulnerable among us. That’s why we really have to do what we all know is right,” Trump added.
All Americans will have to pitch in to defeat the virus, Trump said.
“Every citizen is being called upon to make sacrifices. Every business is being asked to fulfill its patriotic duty. Every community is making fundamental changes to how we live, work and interact each and every day, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this going on long into the future when this virus is gone and defeated,” he said.
Noting that guidelines including social distancing and the basics of hand-washing will continue for the next 30 days, Trump said: “It’s absolutely critical for the American people to follow the guidelines for the next 30 days. It’s a matter of life and death, frankly. It’s a matter of life and death.”
Trump said that the light of a better day will not come until after a dark night.
“I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead,” he said. “We’re going to go through a very tough two weeks. And then, hopefully, as the experts are predicting, as I think a lot of us are predicting after having studied it so hard, you’re going to start seeing some real light at the end of the tunnel.
“But this is going to be a very painful, very, very painful two weeks,” Trump added.
“When you look and see at night the kind of death that’s been caused by this invisible enemy, it’s incredible,” he said.
Trump said that unity will guide America through its trials.
“As a nation, we face a difficult few weeks as we approach that really important day when we’re going to see things get better all of a sudden,” he said. “And it’s going to be like a burst of light, I really think and I hope. Our strength will be tested and our endurance will be tried, but America will answer with love and courage and ironclad resolve.”
Trump spoke about sending supplies, and of sending something more important.
“We also send our prayers,” he said. “We pray for the doctors and the nurses. For the paramedics and the truck drivers, and the police officers, and the sanitation workers. And above all, the people fighting for their lives in New York and all across our land.”
Trump then noted how the pandemic has hit home.
“I watched as doctors and nurses went into a certain hospital in Elmhurst this morning. I know Elmhurst, Queens, I grew up right next to it. I know the hospital very well, been seeing it all my life, my young life,” he said.
“And I will tell you that to see the scenes of trailers out there and what they’re doing with those trailers, they’re freezers and nobody could even believe it. And I spoke to some of my friends, they can’t believe what they’re seeing.”
Trump likened the medical professionals on the front lines of the battle against the coronavirus to America’s heroes who serve on the front lines in combat.
“And I watched the doctors and the nurses walking into that hospital this morning. It’s like military people going into battle, going into war. The bravery is incredible, and I just have to take my hat. I would take my hat if I were wearing a hat, I’d rip that hat off so fast and I would say, ‘You people are just incredible.’ They really are. They’re very brave,” he said.
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