White House Coronavirus Task Force Plans Thursday Release of Guidelines to Reopen Country

President Donald Trump speaks during a coronavirus task force briefing at the White House, Saturday, April 4, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/AP Photo

President Donald Trump confirmed Wednesday that the White House coronavirus task force would release new guidelines for reopening the country on Thursday.

“The battle continues, but the data suggests that nationwide we have passed the peak on new cases,” Trump said. “Hopefully that will continue, and we will continue to make great progress.”

Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said that the last five or six days showed declines in coronavirus cases across the country.

But she said that Americans should still practice social distancing guidelines, acknowledging that asymptomatic carriers of the virus could still spread it.

“To all of you that are out there that would like to join together and have that dinner party for 20, don’t do it yet,” she said.

Birx said that the task force was looking at nine states that had less than a thousand cases of the virus and less than 30 cases per day for reopening.

Other states, she said, were still managing more cases, such as Rhode Island, where the virus was spreading from both the metro areas of Boston and New York City.

“Each of these governors and each of these mayors will have to make these decisions after these guidelines are put out,” Birx said.

Vice President Mike Pence also detailed the news.

“President Trump has directed our team to develop new guidelines that will be presented tomorrow to our nation’s governors and be released to the American people thereafter,” he said.

The vice president credited the American people for adhering to the social distancing guidelines and slowing the spread of the virus.

Pence revealed that 24 percent of the counties in the United States had no reported coronavirus cases, and less than half of the states in America had less than 2,500 cases per state.

He acknowledged, however, that some states would continue to practices social distancing guidelines.

“We’re going to reflect on the fact, that as the president said, there are areas of the country that will require continued mitigation,” Pence said.

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