Some of America’s top public health officials urged President Donald Trump to extend social distancing guidelines that are aimed at slowing the spread of the CCP virus. On Sunday, Trump extended the guidelines, originally issued on March 16 for two weeks, to April 30.
“We felt that if we prematurely pulled back, we would only form an acceleration or rebound of something, which would put you behind where you were before, and that’s a reason why we argued strongly with the president that he not withdraw those guidelines,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said during an appearance on Monday on CNN’s “New Day.”
“And he did listen,” Fauci added.
Fauci said he and Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator for the task force, showed Trump models showing the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, was not slowing down.
“He looked at them, he understood them, and he shook his head and said, ‘I guess we got to do it,'” Fauci said.
Trump told reporters on Sunday that modeling put together by Birx, Fauci, and other top health experts “demonstrate that the mitigation measures we are putting in place may significantly reduce the number of new infections and, ultimately, the number of fatalities.”
“More than 90 percent of Americans say they’re staying home as much as possible, putting their lives, their careers, their educations, and their dreams on hold out of devotion to their fellow citizens and to their country. Social distancing: That’s the way you win,” he added, praising Americans for “shared sacrifices.”
According to figures from experts, Trump said, the peak, or the highest death rates, will hit in two weeks.
“Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won,” he said. “Therefore, the next two weeks, and during this period, it’s very important that everyone strongly follow the guidelines.”
Trump said last week he wanted to open the country back up by Easter.
The guidelines (pdf) include directives on what to do if someone feels ill or someone in their household tests positive and were sent to Americans nationwide in the mail in addition to being posted online and repeatedly stressed by public officials.
Older people and those with underlying health conditions were asked to stay home and away from other people while everyone was asked to avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people and work from home whenever possible.
Preventative measures including washing hands, avoiding touching one’s face, sneezing or coughing into a tissue or the inside of one’s elbow, and disinfecting frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible were also included.