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Trump Extends Social Distancing Guidelines Till April End

Trump Extends Social Distancing Guidelines Till April End
Photo Credit To President Trump during the coronavirus task force briefing in the Rose Garden of the White House on Sunday.Credit...Pete Marovich for The New York Times
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The president, facing grim figures from his health advisers, starkly reversed an earlier upbeat assessment that the country could relax the guidelines by Easter.

WASHINGTON:  President Trump retreated Sunday from his desire to relax coronavirus guidelines by Easter, announcing instead that all Americans must continue to avoid nonessential travel, going to work, eating at bars and restaurants, or gathering in groups of more than 10 for at least another month and perhaps until June.

The grim recommendation, which the president made in the White House Rose Garden, came just a day before the end of a two-week period in which the world’s largest economy has largely shut down with staggering consequences: businesses shuttered, schools and colleges emptied, and social life all but suspended.

Mr. Trump said repeatedly last week that he wanted to reverse such drastic measures soon, perhaps by Easter, on April 12, in the hopes of restarting the economy. But public health experts — including the president’s own advisers — had warned that trying to return to normal life too quickly risked allowing the virus to rage, increasing the likelihood of more infections and raising the number of deaths.



The president finally appeared on Sunday to acknowledge the possibility of deaths on a large scale and back down from weeks of insisting that the threat from the virus might be overblown. In the past month, Mr. Trump has vacillated between accepting the need for aggressive action to limit the pandemic and complaining that such moves will harm the economy.

Note: The map shows the known locations of coronavirus cases by county. Circles are sized by the number of people there who have tested positive, which may differ from where they contracted the illness. Some people who traveled overseas were taken for treatment in California, Nebraska and Texas. Puerto Rico and the other U.S. territories are not shown. Sources: State and local health agencies, hospitals, C.D.C. Data as of 3:59 A.M. E.T., Mar. 30.

But on Sunday, his mood seemed somber as he conceded the need for another month of collective pain. Citing figures from his advisers that showed that as many as 200,000 people could die from the virus even if the country took aggressive action to slow its spread, Mr. Trump said the restrictions must continue, even if it meant more sacrifice in the days ahead.

“During this period, it’s very important that everyone strongly follow the guidelines. Have to follow the guidelines,” Mr. Trump told reporters, with members of the government’s coronavirus task force nearby. “Therefore, we will be extending our guidelines to April 30 to slow the spread.”



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Post source : NEW YORK TIMES

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