COVID-19: Very Close to Completing a Plan to Reopen US, Says Trump

Trump said that his administration will soon finalise new guidelines to start safely opening states.

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File image of US President Donald Trump.
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US President Donald Trump on Monday, 14 April, said that he was very close to completing a plan to reopen the country.

As a result of the deadly spread of the novel coronavirus, more than 95 percent of the country's 330 million population is under stay-at-home order. The social mitigation guidelines have been in place for a month now and will continue till April 30.

"I've been having many discussions with my team and top experts and we're very close to completing a plan to open our country hopefully even ahead of schedule, and that's so important, Trump told reporters at his White House news conference on coronavirus.

Trump said that his administration will soon finalise new and very important guidelines to give governors the information they need to start safely opening their states.

“My administration’s plan and corresponding guidelines will give the American people the confidence they need to begin returning to normal life,” he said.

“That's what we want. We want to have our country open, we want to return to normal life. Our country is going to be open and it's going to be successfully opened, and we'll be explaining over a very short number of days exactly what is going to be,” he said.

On Tuesday, he plans to announce a second task force consisting of eminent people from various walks of life. The task force would recommend him on reopening the country's economy.

The impact of coronavirus on the US economy has been devastating. New York, the epicentre of coronavirus in the US, has come to a standstill, the booming tourism and travel industry has come to a halt, a record number of millions of people have lost their jobs.

It has spent a whopping USD 2.2 trillion as part of its efforts to stimulate the economy but has failed to make any impact so far.

In the past, Trump has asserted that the American economy is not meant that way and people need to come out and work. We want to have our country open, we want to return to normal life, he said.

“We've also, as you've probably heard, developed a committee. We're actually calling in a number of committees with the most prominent people in the country, the most successful people in the various fields. And we'll be announcing them tomorrow,” he said.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that he and the president reviewed a very broad list of over 100 business people that are going to help advise him on what needs to be done to reopen the economy.

“We want to make sure and again the combination of economic impact payments, small business payments, enhanced unemployment insurance. The president made very clear we want to make sure that hard-working Americans have liquidity while we wait to reopen the government,” he said.

The president is expected to make a decision on this later this week.

“Is it possible to reopen the economy on 1 May?” Trump was asked. “I don't want to say that. You'll be hearing over the next few days,” Trump said.

Signs of Flattening of COVID-19 Curve in US, Says Trump

Asserting that America is continuing to make critical progress in the war against the novel coronavirus, US President Donald Trump on Monday said the number of daily new infections remained flat nationwide over the weekend, sending clear evidence that the aggressive strategy to combat it is working.

"America is continuing to make critical progress in our war against the virus. Over the weekend the number of daily new infections remained flat nationwide; hospitalisations are slowing in hotspots like New York, New Jersey, Michigan, and Louisiana, Trump told reporters during his White House press conference on coronavirus.

On Tuesday, as many 1334 died in the US because of coronavirus and 24,895 new cases were reported. The number was far less than the fatalities hovering around 2,000 for the past several days and over 30,000 new cases being reported daily.

“This is clear evidence that our aggressive strategy to combat the virus is working and that Americans are following the guidelines. It has been incredible what they have done,” Trump told reporters at the top of his news conference.

So far 5.8 lakh Americans have tested positive with coronavirus, which is almost equal to the next four countries taken together: Spain (170,099), Italy (159,516), France (136,779) and Germany (130,772).

The United States, which has emerged as the hotspot of the coronavirus globally, has so far reported 23,352 fatalities.

"This was really a bad week they are still going to be a lot of deaths but we are starting to see in some areas now that kind of flattening particularly in a place that was a hot spot like New York, said Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institute of Health and a member of the White House Task Force on Coronavirus.

New York City, which has been the epicenter of coronavirus in the US, with 10,017 deaths and 1,95,459 cases, now has been registering fewer deaths and new cases than had been the case till last week.

On Tuesday 6,765 new cases were reported from the city as against near and over 10,000 every day and fatalities were 722 as against nearly 1,000 on an average daily last week.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters during a separate news conference that the worst is over. I believe the worst is over if we continue to be smart, and I believe we can now start on the path to normalcy, and we can have a plan where you start to see some businesses reopening understand -- understanding the delicate balance, he said.

New York and New Jersey metro areas alone account for more than 250,000 cases, said Dr Deborah Brix, a member of the White House Task Force on Coronavirus in Washington DC.

This level of new cases and fatalities has been prevented in other metropolitan areas of the country, including Chicago and Detroit areas because of the strict implementation of the social mitigation measures and ramping of the health preparedness including hospital beds, she said.

Early this month, members of the White House Task Force on Coronavirus, based on various models had projected between one lakh and two lakh deaths, even with the implementation of the social mitigation measures, which has now been extended till 30 April.

“We are going to be hopefully way, way below that number so that will be a sign of people doing things right, but it is still just a horrible thing all over the world,” he said.

Trump told reporters that a new social mitigation guideline would be brought out soon. He asserted that the death toll in the US is far less than in Europe, mainly because of the measures his administration took beginning a travel ban on China in the last week of January.

So far the United States has conducted nearly three million tests for the virus, he said, adding that the per capita testing in New York is higher than the rest of the world.

(An arrangement of PTI reports)

(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

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