President Trump on Monday released a new tougher guidelines for everyday American life to abide by in order to slow the widespread of the coronavirus, saying the outbreak could continue well into the middle of summer.
“We’d much rather be ahead of the curve than behind it, and that’s what we are,” Trump said accompanied by the White House Coronavirus Task Force at the briefing room as he unveiled the guidelines. “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. We’re going to have a big celebration all together.”
When asked how long this will be the “new normal,” the president told reporters the coronavirus could continue to factor into American life into July or August.
“They think August, it could be July,” Trump said. “Could be longer than that. But I’ve asked that question many, many times.”
The 15-day guidelines calls on all Americans, especially the young and healthy to avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people, engage in working and schooling from home when possible, avoid discretionary travel and “avoid eating or drinking in bars, restaurants, and food courts” and to instead use “drive-thru, pickup or delivery options.”
“My administration is recommending that all Americans, including the young and healthy, work to engage in schooling from home when possible, avoid gathering in groups of more than ten people, avoid discretionary travel and avoid eating and drinking in bars, restaurants, and public food courts,” Trump said.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases detailed the reasoning for the aggressive new guidelines, noting that it apply only to the next 15 days.
“The guidelines that we’re mentioning now… some may look at them and say they’re going to be really inconvenient for people,” Dr. Fauci said. “Some may say well, maybe we’ve gone a little too far. They were well thought out.”
“It will always seem that the best way to address it would to be doing something that looks like it might be an overreaction. It isn’t an overreaction,” he added. “It’s an action we feel is commensurate.”
As Trump held the news briefing, stocks plummeted even further with the Dow Jones Industrial average closing 2,997 points, a 12.9 percent down for its worst loss since the Black Monday 1987 crash. When asked if the economy would headed into a recession, the president responded “it may be,” adding the economy will rebound with strength “once this goes away.”
“We’re not thinking in terms of recession. We are thinking in terms of the virus,” Trump said. “I think there is a tremendous pent-up demand both in terms of the stock market and in terms of the economy and once this goes away. Once it goes through and we are done with that, you’re going to see a tremendous surge.”
Trump said his administration was not considering instituting a nationwide lockdown or a nationwide quarantine like the ones imposed by Italy and Spain.
“At this point, not nationwide. But there are some, you know, places in our nation that are not very effective at all but we may, we may look at certain areas, certain hot spots as they call them. We’ll be looking at that. But, at this moment, no we are not.”