President Donald Trump on Sunday announced the extension of America-wide social distancing drive for another 30 days, a sudden backtracking from his stance to not impose emergency during the outrageous spread of Covid-19.
The 15-day guidelines unveiled by President two weeks ago were expiring on Monday and the President had suggested over the past week that he was looking to reopen the country with no need for unnecessary tightening restrictions. Trump even predicted that States would return to normal on the eve of Easter on April 12, 2020.
But unpredictably on Sunday, Trump decided to expand the restrictions which also hinted on scaling down the mass gatherings until April 30, 2020, a sign that the ideas floated earlier by him were overly utopic.
“The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end,” the President said Sunday at a White House news conference. He said he would be finalizing a new plan and strategy early this week and announcing the details on Tuesday.
The abrupt back-down from a position taken a week ago When Trump said he agrees that social distancing and mass restrictions were resulting in irreparable losses to the national economy is now marking a 180 degree U-turn. Despite warnings from his own health advisors of the dire consequences, the President vowed to implement the failed model by allowing Americans to return to normal and not put a ban of large gatherings and crowded workplaces.
However, on Sunday Trump shifted his position and seemed to acknowledge the outbreak and looked convinced that virus was not slowing down. He confirmed that modeling shows that the fatalities will hit the peak in two weeks’ time but hoped that the country will recover by June 1.
“We can expect that by June 1st, we will be well on our way to recovery, we think by June 1st. A lot of great things will be happening,” he said.
Trump stressed the importance of returning Americans’ life to normal: “I want our life back again,” he added.
The WH’s social distancing guidelines advise the countrymen to avoid groups of more than 10 and appealed the elderly population to not go outside. Different suggestions were tabled and discussed among Trump’s top aides on possible alternatives to battle with the pandemic – including allowing some states to return to normalcy.
However, persistent issues faced in screening the public have become a big hurdle in getting the full picture of the spread of the disease leaving system without a clear idea of the scope of its spread in different states and their comparison as whether which state is faring better than others in fighting the spread of Covid-19.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top specialist of infectious diseases on Sunday warned of the grim consequences by predicting that over 100,000 Americans can die of the disease if the spread doesn’t stop. Trump in his briefing remarked that numbers given by Fauci were exaggerated and called him to the podium.
But the Doctor reiterated the number he cited earlier in the day saying that it is entirely conceivable that more than a million people can catch the deadly virus but maintained that social distancing and mitigation implemented in April would be the key to reduce the numbers.
Fauci was on board with other health advisors who advised Trump to extend the guidelines after some business leaders and conservative allies pushed President to not enforce the tighter restrictions as they proved more detrimental to economy than Corona.
Trump over the last week looked more way of lifting the quarantine measures which he had branded “President Trump’s 15 Days to Slow the Spread.” On Friday Trump, he said that his priority in dealing with Covid-19 was the health of American public health and that economy is now a secondary issue.
When faced his Easter day opening of the lockdown idea, President responded it was something merely aspirational and suggested that most health professionals are not in favor of a full-scale lifting of the sanctions at this point of time as nations across the world are grappling with the deadly disease.