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President Trump On Thursday, the administration announced the publication of new guidelines that will inform state state governors of the potential changes in social distancing, depending on whether certain counties pose a low, medium or high risk for the novel. coronavirus.
In a letter from the president to “American governors,” Trump thanked the heads of state for “mobilizing to help America cope with this unprecedented global pandemic.”
“Together, we prove that no challenge can match the indomitable strength, ingenuity and determination of the American people,” wrote Trump.
“There is still a long battle ahead, but our efforts are already bearing fruit,” he continued, noting that “the day will soon come” when the Americans can resume their “normal economic, social and religious life” .
Trump said the administration “is working to publish new guidelines for local and state policy makers to use when making decisions about maintaining, increasing or relaxing social distance and other measures that they have put in place. “
The President said that the White House plans to expand the testing capabilities “to allow us to publish criteria, developed in close coordination with public health officials and scientists from the Nation, to help classify counties based on persistent risks posed by the virus “.
“This will include robust surveillance tests, which will allow us to monitor the spread of the virus across the country,” said Trump. “Based on these data-based criteria, we will propose guidelines categorizing countries as high risk, medium risk or low risk.”
He added: “This new information will drive the next phase of our war against the invisible enemy.”
Earlier this month, the White House implemented a policy called “15 days to slow the spread,” which included social distancing, working from home when possible, and avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people to stop the spread of COVID-19. Many states have forced non-core businesses to close during the pandemic.
This 15-day period ends on Monday, March 30. It is unclear at this time what the new guidelines would be.
“The virus has taken a heavy toll on our country. A number of our fellow citizens have tragically succumbed to its ravages, while many others are fighting for their lives, “wrote Trump.” We mourn alongside those who have lost loved ones, and send our prayers for the recovery of all those who are still sick. “
He added: “In their honor, we are committed to mobilizing all the resources and all the powers we have to overcome and overcome this threat.”
The president’s message to governors comes after earlier this week, at a Fox News virtual town hall, he said he “would like the country to open” before Easter, which falls on April 12.
The President argued that he did not want to “shut down the country” and see a continuing economic fall from the coronavirus pandemic. He also said he feared the country would face “thousands of suicides” if the new coronavirus devastated the economy.
“We lose thousands and thousands of people every year from the flu. We are not closing the country, ”said Trump at the town hall. “We lose a lot more than that because of auto accidents. We don’t call the automakers and tell them to stop making cars. “
He added, “We have to go back to work.”
Member of the coronavirus working group Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Health, warned Wednesday that the president’s Easter calendar is “ambitious”.
Fauci added: “He has been very flexible about it, even if he seems to have made this absolute decision on something. He has an open mind about it.”
Different states are likely to have radically different directives. While every state in the Union has positive cases of new coronaviruses, some are struggling with a much more devastating impact.
New York was considered the epicenter of COVID-19 in the United States, with more than 37,000 cases Thursday afternoon.
States with more than 1,000 cases of coronavirus positive include New Jersey, California, Washington, Florida, Michigan, Illinois, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Texas, Georgia, Massachusetts and Colorado.
At this point, New York, California, New Jersey, Connecticut and Illinois have issued executive orders that shut down non-core businesses and urged residents to work from home unless they are a worker essential.
As of Thursday afternoon, the United States had reported more than 75,200 positive cases of COVID-19 and more than 1,000 deaths.