US President Donald Trump said Monday that federal social distancing policies could be tightened and travel restrictions with China and Europe would remain in place when he urged Americans to take tough measures against the corona virus by April.
Trump spoke to reporters at the White House, saying that more than 1 million Americans have been tested for the corona virus, which he described as a milestone.
The president announced on Sunday that the recommendations, which include encouraging people not to gather in groups of more than 10 people and avoid dining in restaurants or bars, would apply until the end of next month after they were originally issued had been introduced for 15 days to curb the spread of the virus.
"The guidelines will be very similar, maybe even a little bit stricter," he told reporters on Monday.
Trump, who was criticized for downplaying the pandemic in its early stages, urged everyone to adhere to the restrictions.
"Each of us has a role to play in winning this war. Every citizen, family and business can make the difference in stopping the virus. It's our shared patriotic duty. Challenging times are ahead for the next 30 days, and that it is." very important 30 days, "he said.
Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said the federal guidelines are important because all states face the same risk.
"If you look at all the conditions together, they all move in exactly the same curves," she said. "So we really believe that this must be federal guidance so that every state understands that it can look like two cases that will be 20, that will become 200, that will be 2000, and we are trying to prevent that."
Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said he expected the coronavirus to break out in the fall, but said the nation was better prepared to respond.
Trump said his government would consider a proposal from former Food and Drug Commissioner Scott Gottlieb that all Americans wear a mask in public to stop the virus from spreading.
"After we got going again … I could see something like this for some time, but I would hope it would be a very limited time," he said.
Trump said the United States had started buying overseas personal protective equipment.
"We get it from all over the world and also send things we don't need to other parts," he said.
Trump said he had just spoken to Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and the United States would send Italy some $ 100 million in medical care that was not needed in the United States.
Trump praised an announcement by Ford Motor Co and General Electric's health unit that they would produce 50,000 ventilators in 100 days.
He also noted that General Motors and other US-based companies would also manufacture fans. "If we exceed what we need, we will send them to Italy, we will send them to France, we will send them to Spain … and to other countries as we can." "
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published from a syndicated feed.)