Late last month, President Trump put Vice President Mike Pence in charge of the national coronavirus task force. During a briefing on Sunday, Pence confirmed that Americans should expect some “broad recommendations” regarding the crisis.
Dr. Anthony Fauci was there as well. Fauci serves as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and he said those recommendations could be expected on Monday.
Fauci promises “aggressive” action
“You’re gonna see some advanced updated guidelines tomorrow,” Fauci explained, stressing that when it came to severity, he preferred to err on the side of caution.
“I like to be criticized when I say ‘oh, you’re being too overreactive,’” he said. That’s good for me,” going to make clear that he favored a mandatory 2-week quarantine.
“You know, I would prefer as much as we possibly could. I think we should really be overly aggressive and get criticized for overreacting,” the doctor insisted. “The worst is yet ahead for us.”
Fauci pointed out that, “It is how we respond to that challenge that’s going to determine what the ultimate endpoint is going to be. We have a very, very critical point now.”
Avoid public places, shut down schools
During Monday’s follow-up press conference, President Trump said that the federal government is recommending Americans stay away from bars and restaurants while avoiding gathering in groups of more than 10 people. He also said that schools should shut down for at least two weeks.
Trump sounded a note of optimism, predicting that “we can turn the corner” if the recommendations are followed. He also pledged that his administration is “prepared to do whatever it takes; whatever it takes, we’re doing.”
As he spoke, the Dow Jones Industrial Average continued to post significant losses, and Trump acknowledged that the nation “maybe be” in for a recession.
Despite the gloom, the president argued “I think you’re going to see a tremendous, tremendous surge,” once the pandemic had passed.
Still, Trump made clear that combating the illness rather than bolstering the economy was his immediate priority, stating, “we’re not thinking of terms of recession, we’re thinking in terms of the virus.”
He suggested that if the country does “a really good job” then people could look forward to the crisis being resolved by July or August.