On Thursday, President Trump announced the White House’s guidelines for beginning to reopen the country, something he says was reached with input from medical experts and scientists. “We are not opening all at once, but one, careful step at a time,” Mr. Trump said, adding that states will reopen their economies at different times.
On a call with governors Thursday afternoon, the president told them, “You’re gonna call your own shots.” The plan calls for higher-risk populations — older Americans and those with certain underlying health conditions — to remain to shelter in place for the foreseeable future, while some Americans might begin to go back to work. Governors ultimately have the authority to decide when to lift or continue their shelter-in-place and other mitigation measures.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said the plan is not a “light switch,” and changes will be gradual. Public health officials have said that social distancing measures are having an impact on slowing the spread of the coronavirus but are encouraging Americans to remain vigilant in their efforts. Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, told reporters, “I will just remind the American people again: This is a highly contagious virus. Social gatherings, coming together, there’s always a chance that an asymptomatic person can spread the virus unknowingly. No one is intending to spread the virus. We know if you are sick, you will stay home. But to all of you that are out there that would like to join together and just have that dinner party for 20: Don’t do it yet.”
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