Trump, White House Roll Out Plan To Slow The Coronavirus Spread

The Trump administration is recommending Americans steer clear of restaurants, bars, and other gathering places for the next 15 days.
Posted at 5:29 AM, Mar 17, 2020

The White House is issuing a set of new guidelines it wants every American to follow to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

During a press conference, President Trump told reporters, "We will rally together as one nation, and we will defeat the virus"

The new rules encourage people to self-isolate for the next 15 days: that means no going to school, no non-essential travel, and no going out to bars or restaurants. The White House also recommends that any gathering of over 10 people, private or public, should be postponed.

The guidance also recommends that places where the virus has already spread should shutter gyms, bars, restaurants and other gathering spots for at least the next two weeks. That's not a mandatory rule, but states grappling with coronavirus outbreaks like New York and Washington have already taken similar actions.

The goal of these rules is to prevent people from spreading the virus without realizing it; health officials say it's possible to infect someone even if you don't display any symptoms. Isolations and quarantines help reduce those risks.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, told reporters, "If everybody in America does what we ask for over the next 15 days, we will see a dramatic difference. And we won't have to worry about the ventilators, and we won't have to worry about the ICU beds."

President Trump said the pandemic might not let up in the U.S. until July or August. He also acknowledged the economic damage this virus could do; the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell almost 13 percentage points during Monday's press conference.