Covid-19: Donald Trump warns Americans of a tough two weeks ahead in coronavirus fight
US President says it is a matter of life or death as he urges people to follow social distancing measures.
President Donald Trump and his top healthcare advisers urged Americans on Tuesday to follow strict social distancing measures ahead of a "tough two weeks" that could see at least 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus in the United States.
"It's absolutely critical for the American people to follow the guidelines for the next 30 days. It's a matter of life and death," Trump said during a news conference at the White House.
Trump said the next two weeks would be "very, very painful."
"We want Americans to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead," Trump said, predicting light at the end of the tunnel after that.
White House coronavirus coordinator Deborah Birx displayed charts demonstrating data and modelling that showed an enormous jump in deaths to 100,000 to 200,000 people from the virus in the coming two weeks.
"We pray for the doctors and the nurses, for the paramedics and the truck drivers, and the police officers and the sanitation workers, and above all, the people fighting for their lives in New York and all across our land." - President @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/nTuDWLozcG- The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 31, 2020
Trump said 2.2 million people could have died, according to the modelling, if no mitigation efforts had been put into place.
He cited those high projections when announcing on Sunday that he planned to extend the federal guidelines rather than pursuing his earlier stated desire to get the U.S. economy moving again by Easter on April 12.
"There's no magic bullet. There's no magic vaccine or therapy. It's just behaviours: Each of our behaviours translating into something that changes the course of this viral pandemic over the next 30 days," Birx told reporters, predicting a peak in deaths in the coming two weeks.
Vice-President Mike Pence said the mitigation efforts were having an impact. "We have reason to believe that it's working," Pence said of the guidelines. "Do not be discouraged."
"We're doing everything we can," he said.
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