"Each and every one of us has a critical role to play," US President Donald Trump said at a Monday news conference in which he announced the release of a set of 15-day action guidelines for Americans to stem the spread of the virus, which has already been confirmed to have infected nearly 4,000 Americans.
The announcement came after Trump spoke with the leaders of the G7 countries as well as US state governors.
“When you’re dealing with an emerging infectious disease’s outbreak, you are already behind where you think you are," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), said at the presser.
"We hope that the people of the United States will take them seriously," he said about the guidelines.
JUST IN: President releases “15 Days to Slow the Spread” guidelines. Tune-in now for White House briefing: https://t.co/19gRspKeG0 #coronavirus #CoronavirusOutbreak #StayHomeSaveLives #FlattenTheCurve pic.twitter.com/GSRwnz7s8A— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCBS) March 16, 2020
Some of the items on the list include staying home if one is either sick or in a vulnerable category such as elderly or have a serious health condition; avoiding social gatherings of more than 10 people, including school, bars, restaurants, food courts, and shopping areas; and practicing good hygiene such as washing hands and avoiding touching one's face.
Trump also noted that a vaccine for COVID-19 has entered phase one clinical trials.
Q: Are we heading to a recession?— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) March 16, 2020
Trump: "Well we may be."
Trump says that there is a tremendous amount of pent up demand but the focus is on the virus.
When asked by reporters when Americans can expect life to return to normal, Trump noted that "some say July or August," also saying that "we’re going to have a big celebration together” when the crisis is over.
However, he cautioned that the virus is "not under control for any place in the world" right now.
“At this point not nationwide,” Trump said in response to a question about whether or not the US would institute a nationwide curfew. He noted they were being considered for certain hot spot areas.
When asked about using the US Army Corps of Engineers to build hospitals similar to what China did in Hubei Province, Trump said that "we hope we don't get there," but noted the administration is looking at buildings that could potentially be used for additional hospital space.