Trump, officials, announce revised guidelines to curb coronavirus

Donald Trump. Photo: White House video screenshot

March 16 (UPI) — President Donald Trump and other officials laid out at a White House briefing Monday revised steps to combat the spread of the coronavirus over the next 15 days.

Among the guidelines limiting non-essential gatherings to fewer than 10 people.

The guidelines also include schooling from home when possible and avoiding eating in bars, restaurants and public food courts.

Trump said that young people might experience milder symptoms and not realize they have the virus, so it’s especially important to the guidelines over the next 15 days to avoid putting other people at risk.

“If everyone makes this change or these critical changes now, we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus, and we’re going to have a big celebration all together,” Trump said.

Trump added that a Phase 1 clinical trial — for safety — has begun, and antiviral therapies are being developed to decrease severity and duration of symptoms.

Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of White House coronavirus response, said that if someone is diagnosed with the coronavirus, everyone in the household should go into quarantine. She added that everyone also should focus on protecting people in the household with pre-existing medical conditions and people 65 and older, who are more at risk.

Birx said millennials will play a key role in stopping the spread of the virus, as they already communicate successfully online and through their phones.

“These guidelines are very specific, very detailed,” Birx said. “They will only work if every American takes this together to heart.”

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National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said that some people might view the guidelines as an overreaction, but they are not because it’s important to stay ahead of the curve in an emerging outbreak.

Trump told reporters who asked how long it would take for things to return to normal coronavirus spreads that “people are are talking about July or August.”

Trump earlier told a group of governors Monday to find respirators on their own to help people infected with the coronavirus instead of waiting for the federal government.

“Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves,” Trump told the governors during a conference call, a recording of which The New York Times obtained. “We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves. Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself.”

Trump said during the briefing that he suggested governors get this equipment themselves because they could get them faster that way.

Before the afternoon briefing, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters the government is considering financial aid for the airline industry and a payroll tax cut for Americans. He also urged calm among investors Wall Street started to drop Monday.

Trump has also participated in an emergency video conference call with the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain to address stabilizing global economies.

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