President Trump summed up the gravity of the COVID-19 outbreak Monday morning at a news conference with simple words, repeated twice to stress the seriousness of the situation: “It’s bad. It’s bad.”
“We’re going to hopefully be a best case and not a worst case scenario,” he added.
Trump’s news conference took place as Collin County County officials and several cities declared a state of emergency, canceling library hours, closing facilities, and postponing board and commission meetings.
At the news conference, Trump’s team released several guidelines for people to follow, including avoiding groups of more than 10 people and eating and drinking at bars, restaurants, and public food courts.
Other guidelines include avoiding discretionary travel, schooling from home when possible, and staying home if you feel mildly ill.
Trump said the outbreak could last until July or August, “or it could be longer than that.”
“If everyone makes this change or these critical changes and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation, and we will defeat the virus, and we’re going to have a big celebration all together,” he said.
Trump told reporters that he wasn’t considering a national quarantine yet, but they are looking at coronavirus outbreak hotspots. Some of those hotspots include California, Washington, and New York, according to LiveScience, a website which is tracking cases.
The CDC pointed out on its website that the virus is spreading easily from person-to-person, and recently recommended several guidelines, including canceling gatherings of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks. “Everyone can do their part to help us respond to this emerging public health threat,” the CDC writes on its website.
Everyone’s part includes following these other guidelines:
- Individuals and communities should familiarize themselves with recommendations to protect themselves and their communities from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses like COVID-19.
- Older people and people with severe chronic conditions should take special precautions because they are at higher risk of developing serious COVID-19 illness.
- If you are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and develop symptoms, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms and your exposure. They will decide whether you need to be tested, but keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill are able to isolate at home.
- If you are a resident in a community where there is ongoing spread of COVID-19 and you develop symptoms, call your healthcare provider and tell them about your symptoms. They will decide whether you need to be tested, but keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill are able to isolate at home.
- For people who are ill with COVID-19, but are not sick enough to be hospitalized, please follow CDC guidance on how to reduce the risk of spreading your illness to others. People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to isolate at home during their illness.”
At the news conference Monday, Trump indicated that a vaccine candidate has entered Phase 1 clinical trial. “This is one of the fastest vaccine development launches in history,” he said.
President Trump’s COVID-19 task force is also racing to develop anti-viral therapies and other treatments, and he claimed they had some promising results but pointed it out that it’s still in the early stages of development.
But his team warned that everyone needs to take the guidelines seriously to help stop the virus’ spread: “When you’re dealing with an emerging infectious diseases outbreak, you are always behind where you think you are if you think that today reflects where you really are.”
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