On March 29, President Donald Trump reversed his earlier decision to open the United States by April 10, 2020. He has decided to extend national social-distancing guidelines to April 30. This initiative is aimed at keeping the forecasted coronavirus death toll in the U.S. from reaching catastrophic and worst-case scenario levels.
In the past, President Trump wanted to reopen businesses in the U.S. by Easter despite the coronavirus situation. Nonetheless, the public health experts have warned that lifting these restrictions by Easter, April 12, may result in unnecessary death and economic damage. Trump had suggested that the coronavirus death rate would likely peak in the next two weeks.
On March 29, the president alleged that Easter was just an ‘aspiration’, and he hopes that the country will be well on the road to recovery by June 1. Trump commented in an evening press briefing:
“Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory has been won.”
Trump affirmed that his administration was extending the guidelines to avoid a major death toll. The president also pointed to modeling that forecasts 2.2 million deaths in the United States if drastic measures were not implemented to mitigate the pandemic outbreak.
He also said that his administrations are striving relentlessly to ensure that the projected death toll does not surpass 100,000. Trump added:
“So if we can hold that down, as we’re saying, to 100,000, it’s a horrible number, maybe even less, but to 100,000, so we have between 100 and 200,000, we all together have done an outstanding job.”
Real U.S. Coronavirus Scenario
White House health adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci earlier in the day said that the U.S. might see up to 200,000 deaths and millions of infections. But, he also cautioned that the numbers are solely based on models, and nothing is proven for sure.
There are almost 140,000 confirmed cases in the United States, which includes over 2,400 deaths according to information from Johns Hopkins University. Even though President Trump can issue federal guidelines, he has no power to determine whether the country can reopen. Governors are making those decisions. Trump’s administration’s guidance advises citizens to stay mostly at home and avoid congregation in groups of more than 10.
The States across the country have advised their residents to remain indoors except for essential reasons. Schools, restaurants, and many other businesses have been shuttered. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has encouraged New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut residents to avoid nonessential travel to other states for up to 14 days.
President Trump also claimed that hospitals and healthcare workers were hoarding ventilators. However, he made these allegations without any evidence or specifics. State and city officials have continually called for more medical supplies as hospitals see a major influx of patients. The necessary equipment is scarce throughout the country, posing challenges to doctors and healthcare givers in the fight against COVID-19.