The US president previously claimed at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in America that it would last “just weeks”. But now he has urged US citizens over the next 15 days to abstain from social gatherings of more than 10 people, avoid bars, restaurants, food courts, gyms, and crowds.
Talking to reporters at the White House, Trump said the US is facing “an invisible enemy” that is “so contagious”.
Thus far, the country has had more than 4,600 cases of the virus and 85 deaths.
Globally, there have been more than 180,000 confirmed cases and over 7,100 deaths, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.
Trump issued the following recommendations to Americans in order to prevent the spread and contraction of coronavirus.
All older Americans have been urged to stay home, while work and school for everyone should be from home.
Shopping trips and social visits should be avoided, and people should stay away from nursing homes or retirement facilities, as well as only travelling when necessary.
He told reporters: “We’ve made the decision to further toughen the guidelines and blunt the infection now.
“We’d much rather be ahead of the curve than behind it.”
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Asked how long the emergency would last, Trump said: “They think August, could be July, could be longer than that.”
This came in stark contrast to his previous prediction – that the outbreak would be over in a matter of weeks.
White House coronavirus response co-ordinator Dr Deborah Birx, who joined the president, said: “If everybody in America does what we ask for over the next 15 days, we will see a dramatic difference.”
Issuing an appal directly to millennial, she asked them to limit social contact even though they are at lower risk of suffering if they contract the virus.
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She said: “They are the core people that will stop this virus.
”We really want people to be separated.”
Dr Brix also warned against socialising even if people feel well.
She said: “We know that there is a large group of infected people who are asymptomatic, who continue to spread the virus.”
Meanwhile, Trump said the US “may be” heading for a recession.
Following his news conference, the stock market plummeted more than 12 percent – its worst days since 1987.
Trump, who was criticised for playing down the seriousness of the virus, was asked by a reporter how we would score his administration’s response to the outbreak on a scale of one to 10.
He replied: “I’d rate it a 10.
”I think we’ve done a great job.”
Despite the virus’ spread, Trump said he did not yet plan to ban domestic travel or a national curfew or lockdown.
He added, however: “We may look at certain areas, certain hot spots as they call them.”
The US-Canada has not yet been closed, but is something the Trump administration is said to be considering.
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