President Donald Trump extended coronavirus social distancing guidelines this weekend to April 30, marking a significant change from his previous deadline of April 12, which he now acknowledges was way too early.
"We had an aspiration of Easter but when you hear these kind of numbers and you hear the potential travesty," Trump said at a press briefing on Sunday, March 29. "We don't want to have a spike up."
The President’s new logic is apparently following the sound science of the White House Coronavirus Task Force despite earlier rhetoric indicating it would be over by mid April. The lead voice with facts about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who explained the new timeline and the expectations which includes an increased number of deaths.
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“It was clear that the dynamics of the outbreak,” Fauci said on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “What was going on in cities like New York City, Westchester (County), and New Orleans and others was clearly still on an uptick and to pull back the mitigation methods before you reach the peak and turn the corner, I think really would have been imprudent because that would have merely regenerated the spike to go up.
“So we had some intensive conversations with [Trump] and we convinced him, he listened and we said the better part of valor would be to extend them until the end of April when we think it would peak and start coming down,” said Fauci.
Although there are varied models which show peaks of death rates in April, predictions are still extremely dire.
“Looking at what we're seeing now, I would say between 100,000 and 200,000" deaths, Fauci said Sunday on CNN’s "State of the Union." "We're going to have millions of cases."
Currently, the global total of COVID-19 cases is at more than 741,000 with 35,000 deaths and 156,000 recoveries, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The United States has 143,000 cases, with 2,500 deaths and 4,800 recoveries.
For the latest on the coronavirus, check out BET’s blog on the virus and contact your local health department and visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.
Photo Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images
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