President Trump and members of his Coronavirus Task Force held a press briefing on the coronavirus at the White House Thursday evening.
- Trump announced new federal guidelines for reopening the U.S. in three phases while putting the onus on governors for making decisions about their own state economies. The plan, titled “Opening Up America Again” outlines the “proposed state or regional gating criteria” for each phase. The guidance doesn’t set a specific timeline on any of the phases; instead it encourage governors to base their decisions on the data to set their state own timeline.
- Trump stated that governors will be “empowered to tailor” the decisions regarding their own states stay-at-home orders with the federal government providing them the “freedom and guidance to accomplish that task.”
- Dr. Anthony Fauci said no matter what phase a state is implementing for reopening, it is not “game over” in terms of avoiding risks and the spread. He added that we can return back to “some form of normality” by the way of “protect ourselves” calling it “the new normal.”
- Trump said 29 states are “in that ballgame” could soon begin the Phase 1 process and “will be able to open relatively soon,” but didn’t mention which specific state.
- Trump told reporters that he asked governors in areas that haven’t seen many coronavirus cases “Why would they wear masks in Wyoming or Montana or North Dakota?”. He said that those governors are being extra cautious in in mitigating the spread of the virus by protecting their locals in case “somebody should come in from an area that isn’t so successful, in terms of what they’ve done.”
- Dr. Deborah Birx emphasized that vulnerable populations need to continue to be monitored for potential coronavirus outbreaks. In going through the phases, Birx said the gating criteria for states in Phase 1 and 2 for “vulnerable population” should continue with the stay at home order and social distancing guidance. If a vulnerable individual needs to return to work and can’t work from home, Birx said that there should be “special accommodations” be put in place and encourage those needing to return to work to do it in phases.
- Dr. Birx said the federal government will be conducting “sentinel surveillance throughout nursing homes, throughout inner-city federal clinics, throughout indigenous populations to really be able to find early alerts of asymptomatic individuals in the community and both for the syndromic cases.”
- Trump spoke about his video conference call he had with G7 leaders Thursday morning and he said he was “angry” because he and fellow world leaders “should have told us about this and they should have told the rest of the world too.” He added that because “people” without mentioning which country exactly were not adequately warned and they knew but didn’t talk, “all their countries have been devastated by this. Their economies have been devastated by this. A hundred and eighty-four countries all over the world.”
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