President Donald Trump on Monday released a series of coronavirus guidelines to slow the spread that calls for a lockdown of America, including the closing of restaurants and schools.
‘Each and every one of us has a critical role to play in stopping the spread,’ the president said in the White House briefing room.
And while his guidelines will be revisited after the initial 15 day proposal, the president warned the virus could affect American life well into the summer.
‘People are talking about July, August, something like that,’ Trump said. ‘They could be right in that period of time where it washes through.’
That answer brought a bit of momentary confusion in the briefing but Dr. Anthony Fauci stepped in to clarify the guidelines were not in affect that long.
‘The guidelines are over a 15 day-trial guideline,’ Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said and added that they will be reconsidered after the initial run. ‘The president was saying that the trajectory of the outbreak may go until then, make sure you don’t think that it’s solid in stone until July’ for the guidelines.
The two-page list, called ’15 Days to Slow the Spread,’ advises avoiding ‘eating or drinking in bars, restaurants, and food courts – use drive through, pickup, and delivery options.’
It also calls on governors that have states with ‘evidence of community transmission’ to close schools in the affected areas.’ And it asks those states to address childcare issues as well as nutritional needs of children who use schools for their meals.
And there may be stronger guidelines to come.
‘We have taken a tough stance. We may make other decisions,’ the president said.
But that does not include a nation-wide lockdown, a step other countries have taken. France has gone on a 15-day one and Canada has closed its borders to non-citizens.
‘At this point, not nationwide,’ President Trump said, ‘but there are some places in our nation that are not very effective at all. But we may look at certain areas, certain hot spots as we call them and at this moment, no we are not.’
President Donald Trump on Monday released a series of coronavirus guidelines to slow the spread
In the United States, there are more than 3,800 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 69 deaths
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has advised officials across the United States to crack down on large gatherings of more than 50 people for at least eight weeks as the governors of California, Illinois and Ohio close all of the bars in their states
The president said the guidelines were to slow the spread of the highly-contagious disease.
And much of his focus was on young people. Millennials, in particular, have been urged to stay home and curb their social lives to limit the spread of the virus.
That age group is unlikely to get – or get a severe case of it – but could pass it on to others.
‘We would much rather be ahead of the curve than behind it and that’s where we are,’ Trump said. ‘Therefore, my administration is recommending that all Americans including the young and healthy work to engage in schooling from home when possible, avoid a gathering in groups of more than ten people, avoid discretionary travel and avoid eating and drinking in bars, restaurants, and public food courts.’
The president said he’s spoken to his son, 13-year-old Barron, about the coronavirus.
‘I’ve spoken with my son and how bad is this, it’s bad. Hopefully it is going to be a best case, not a worst-case. That is what we are working for,’ Trump said.
The recommendations advise that ‘even if you are young, or otherwise healthy, you are at risk and your activities can increase the risk for others.’
The guidelines also suggest avoiding social gatherings of more than 10 people, avoiding ‘discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits,’ and not to visit nursing homes.
The recommendations also state that if you ‘are an older person, stay home and away from other people.’
Additionally, there are practical suggestions including following the directions of authorities, stay home if feel sick, staying home if you have the virus, and practicing good hygiene.
On Monday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and his deputy announced they would stay separated – holding conference calls to coordinate their work – in an effort to stop the spread of the disease and preserve the chain of command.
President Trump said that was not something that he and Vice President Mike Pence were considering.
President Trump on his coronavirus test
President Trump, at his press conference on Monday, clarified he was tested for the coronavirus on late Friday night and said there was ‘nothing pleasant’ about it.
‘I had no symptoms whatsoever, the doctor said you have no symptoms so we don’t see any reason. But when I did the press conference, everyone was going crazy did you do the test. It is a very late on Friday night I did the test,’ he said, adding ‘I believe the following day and we tested negative.’
The president, a famous germaphobe, said he washing his hands more than ever.
‘I always wash my hands a lot. Probably if anything, more. Certainly not less.’
As for the test itself, the president said it’s ‘not something that I want to do every day.’
The coronavirus test involves inserting a swab in a person’s nasal cavity all the way back to the throat.
‘It’s a medical test. There’s nothing pleasant about it,’ Trump said.
‘We have not thought of it,’ he said in response to a question from DailyMail.com. ‘I will say this. We are very careful. We are very careful being together. Even the people behind me are — they have been very strongly tested. I have been very strongly tested. We have to be very careful. But everybody should be vigilant. We have to be vigilant.’
Pence later clarified he has not taken a coronavirus test, pointing out he shows no symptoms and is in consultation with the White House medical staff. He did say he has his temperature monitored.
‘I have not been tested yet. I’m in regular consultation with the white house physician. I have not been exposed to anyone for any. Lack of time that had the coronavirus. My wife and I have no symptoms. We are checking our temperature regularly. Every day. We will continue to follow guidance. Which I think may be a good place to land at the end of the day,’ Pence said.
The stock market closed while the president was at the podium in the White House press room. The Dow dropped nearly 3,000 points in one of its worst days.
But the president said once the virus was contained, both life and the stock market would return to normal.
‘My focus is really on getting rid of this problem, this virus problem. Once we do that, everything else will fall into place,’ he said.
‘The market will take care of itself. The market will be a very strong as soon as we get rid of the virus,’ Trump said.
He also rated his response to the disease as a ’10.’
And when asked if the buck stopped with him, Trump replied: ‘Normally. This has never been done before in this country.’
President Trump, in his nearly hour-long press conference, urged Americans to work together to fight the spread of the disease. And noted the country would celebrate together when the virus was defeated.
‘If everyone makes this change are these critical changes and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus and we are going to have a big celebration altogether. We can turn the corner and turn it quickly, a lot of progress has been made,’ he said.
The guidelines come as New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announce their states are shutting down at 8 p.m. and several states have announced extended school closures.
New York will close its bars and restaurants at 8pm on Monday night for ‘as long as necessary’ along with casinos, gyms and movie theaters as part of an effort with neighboring states Connecticut and New Jersey to stop the spread of coronavirus.
New Jersey has also launched a statewide ‘curfew’ between the hours of 8pm and 5am for all ‘non essential travel’ but it is unclear what that is or what will happen to anyone who does not follow the rules.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has not confirmed whether or not people will be able to go to work between those hours or how he plans to enforce it, but is only saying that he ‘strongly discourages’ anyone from leaving home between those hours.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the shutdown in a tweet on Monday morning after urging Trump to shut down the country to fight coronavirus and said the current ‘patchwork quilt’ system of some states being more vigilant than others is not working.
The order applies to New York City too.
There are more than 4,000 cases of coronavirus in the US and 71 people have died.
People wearing medical masks are seen walking in Times Square in New York on Monday
New York City is all but shut down. Broadway has been closed since Friday, bars and restaurants will close on Tuesday morning
The city of San Francisco announced on Monday that a three week lockdown is going to be issued on Tuesday at midnight
Cars line up outside the Central Outreach Wellness Center on the Northside of Pittsburgh Monda for drive-by testing for coronavirus
Additionally, San Francisco’s mayor has announced an unprecedented three week lockdown that will begin on Tuesday at midnight and bans anyone from leaving their home for anything other than doctor’s visits or trips to the grocery store.
In addition to the lockdown in city parameters, six counties in the Bay Area are being told to ‘shelter in place’.
The lockdown is the strictest action to be taken in America. Anyone who breaks it faces legal repercussions.
It will last until April 7. Mayor London Breed called it a ‘defining moment’ on Monday morning.
‘This is going to be a defining moment for our city.
‘We all have a responsibility to do our part to protect our neighbors and slow the spread of this virus by staying at home unless it is absolutely essential to go outside,’ she said.