The White House on Monday released a series of sweeping guidelines that for the next 15 days will temporarily rewrite the norms of American society.
AP reports that President Donald Trump, employing a newly somber tone about the crisis enveloping the globe, urged all older Americans to stay home and everyone to avoid crowds and eating out at restaurants.
The president for the first time acknowledged that the pandemic may send the economy into a recession.
Over the next half month, Americans should not gather in groups of more than 10 people, schooling should be at home and discretionary travel and social visits should be avoided. If anyone in a household tests positive for the virus, everyone who lives there should stay home. The administration did not say how old people should be to follow the advice to stay home.
“We will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus,” Trump said. “We can turn the corner and turn it quickly.”
“As we combat the virus, each and every one of us has a critical role to play in stopping the spread and transmission of the virus,” said the president, leading a nearly one-hour long briefing for reporters. He denied a nationwide curfew is under consideration.
Asked how long the virus crisis would last, Trump predicted it would be until July or August or possibly longer.
“It could be right in that period of time where … it washes through,” Trump said.
“The new measures reflected the increasing gravity of global attempts to contain the virus as governments around the world, from Canada to Hungary, moved to close their borders to foreign travelers. They left unanswered the question of precisely what individuals and local governments should do, or how business owners and workers might survive financially, at a time when vast sections of the economy were ceasing to function. “If everyone makes this change or these critical changes and sacrifices now,” Mr. Trump said, “we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus and we’re going to have a big celebration all together.”
Hours earlier, Mr. Trump told a group of governors they should not wait for the federal government to fill the growing demand for respirators needed to help people diagnosed with coronavirus.
“Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves,” Mr. Trump told the governors during the conference call, a recording of which was shared with The New York Times.
AP / VOA / New York Times