President Donald Trump hinted at a major shift in the US’ coronavirus policy in a tweet late on Sunday.
“WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF,” Trump tweeted. “AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!”
In a White House briefing on March 16, Trump set out social distancing measures he said Americans should observe for 15 days to slow the spread of the disease.
The restrictions have devastated the US economy, with Americans urged to avoid bars, shops and restaurants as well as travel.
Vice President Mike Pence has said the restrictions on some Americans going to work could be lifted Monday, as the shutdown caused stock markets to plunge.
The coronavirus is still spreading rapidly in the US, where there have been more than 35,000 confirmed cases.
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President Donald Trump in a tweet on Sunday hinted at a major shift in US policy on combatting the coronavirus, writing that “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF.”
In the all-caps tweet near midnight, Trump continued that “AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!”
The period Trump seemed to refer to began on March 16, when in a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House the president announced “new guidelines for every American to follow over the next 15 days as we combat the virus.” It will end on March 31.
The “social distancing” guidelines urged Americans to work from home where possible, and avoid social gatherings and trips to bars and restaurants as part of a series of measures to slow the spread of the disease.
They are much less severe than those in other countries with comparable outbreaks, though some cities and states have gone further on their own initiative.
As the US economy plummets, with mass layoffs and businesses across the country closed until further notice, it seems patience in the White House is wearing thin.
Bloomberg, citing sources familiar with the president’s thinking, reported Monday that Trump last week had considered slackening some of the restrictions.
Among those who back Trump are Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, according to the report, while NIAID director Anthony Fauci believes that keeping the measures in place is the only way to defeat the virus.
Earlier on Sunday, Vice President Mike Pence, who is leading the White House’s coronavirus task force, said that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would announce that people exposed to the virus could be allowed to return to work if they wear a mask for a certain period.
Yamiche Alcindor, PBS News’ White House correspondent, tweeted that the ease-up on the restrictions would be announced Monday.
.@VP: The CDC tomorrow is going to issue new guidance which will make it possible for people who have exposed to the coronavirus …read more
Source:: Business Insider