President Donald Trump told reporters that the coronavirus crisis may not be brought under control until July or August or even later.
“They think August, July — it could be longer than that,” Trump said.
Trump also recommended that Americans avoid gatherings of 10 or more people, and to refrain from seating at bars, restaurants and food courts to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Trump also urged older people to stay home and keep away from other people, and urged in-home schooling and avoiding discretionary travel. The guidance is meant to be in place for at least the next 15 days. Read the guidelines below.
His recommendations were not mandates, but it follows other states like California and New York that have directed bars and nightclubs to shutdown while limiting restaurant services. Movie theaters and gyms also have been ordered to close in New York, Los Angeles and other areas.
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Trump said that he is not looking at a national lockdown “at this point,” but “we may look at certain areas, certain hotspots as they call them.”
“It’s important for the young and healthy people to understand that while they may experience mild symptoms, they can easily spread this virus and they will spread it indeed, putting countless others in harm’s way,” Trump said.
At Monday’s briefing, the difference in Trump’s tone toward the crisis was striking. He was more somber than last week. He said that he spoke to son Barron, who asked him “how bad this is,” and he responded, “It’s bad. It’s bad.” He called it an “invisible enemy.”
Instead of saying that the virus “was something that we have tremendous control over,” as he said on Sunday, Trump said that he was talking what the administration was doing. “The virus — no that’s not under control any place in the world,” Trump said.
He also acknowledged that the economy “may be” heading into a recession.
And he was even complimentary about media coverage, telling reporters at the White House, “I think a lot of the media actually has been very fair. I think people are pulling together on this. I really think the media has been very fair.” Just last week, Trump chided the “fake news media” for trying to “inflame” the outbreak.
During the briefing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down almost 13%, or almost 3,000 points. That was its biggest one-day point drop ever.
“The market will take care of itself,” Trump said. “The market will be very strong as soon as we get rid of the virus.”
The White House guidelines are below:
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