President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he would consider it a ‘win’ and a ‘very good job’ if he can manage to keep the death toll from coronavirus to between 100,000 and 200,000 since estimates put it at more than 2 million if he did nothing.
Trump, who has largely avoided talk of potential death and infection rates, cited projection models that said potentially 2.2 million people or more could have died had social distancing measures not been put in place.
And he said the country would be doing well if it ‘can hold’ the number of deaths ‘down to 100,000.’
He said the best case for the country would be for the death rate to peak in about two weeks.
‘It’s a horrible number,’ Trump said, but added, ‘We all together have done a very good job.’
Donald Trump said Sunday that the administration is extending the coronavirus guidelines, originally imposed for 15 days, until April 30 – a 30 day extension
He also claimed that the peak in coronavirus deaths and cases would likely peak in the U.S. in two weeks, which is Easter
Reporters gathered in the Rose Garden for the press briefing Sunday as temperatures reached 70 in Washington D.C. – and chairs were seated one to two feet apart from one another as they continue practicing social distancing
The president announced on Sunday that the administration’s coronavirus task force’s 15-day plan to reduce the spread of the disease is being extended 30 days, which is weeks past his Easter deadline.
Trump also claimed during his daily press briefing at the White House Sunday evening that the peak of coronavirus is expected to hit in two weeks, even though the death toll in the U.S. doubled from 1,000 to 2,000 in just one day.
‘The modeling estimates that the peak is likely to hit in two weeks. So, I’ll say it again: The peak – the highest point of death rates, remember this – is likely to hit in two week,’ Trump said during his remarks in the Rose Garden. ‘Nothing would be worse than declaring before the victory is won. That would be the greatest loss of all.’
The president said the administration would be extending its original 15-day guidelines for another 30 days.
Trump said last week that he was hoping the whole crisis would have blown over by Easter, which is April 12, but admitted Sunday that that deadline was just an ‘aspiration’ and that Easter could end up being the ‘spike’ in deaths.
‘Was floating Easter a mistake?’ a reporter asked him after the president was finished making his prepared remarks.
‘No. It was just an aspiration. We actually will be hitting, potentially… on Easter we’re probably – that could be a peak. That could be a peak period. That could be the peak – sadly to say – that could be the peak number of deaths before it starts coming down. No, that was aspirational,’ he said.
‘We had an aspiration of Easter,’ the president continued. ‘But when you hear this kind of numbers and you hear the potential travesty we don’t want to do anything where, you know – we don’t want to have a spike up.’
‘We don’t want to do it soon and then all of the sudden you go down, you’re coming down and then you start coming up again. Because we discussed that could happen. We’ve gone through too much.’ he said of the guidance and lockdowns ending.
Trump added the administration would now be extending the 15-day guidelines put forth by the task force earlier this month until April 30.
‘The next two weeks, and during this period, it’s very important that everyone strongly follow the guidelines,’ Trump said. ‘The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end. Therefore, we will be extending our guidelines to April 30, to slow the spread. On Tuesday we will be finalizing these plans.’
The federal guidelines include recommendations for individuals on how to slow the spread of the respiratory disease and include measures such as limiting social gatherings to 10 or less people.
Vice President Mike Pence, who leads the White House coronavirus task force, often holds up a paper detailing the guidelines they say is and will continue to flatten the curve.
Trump then imposed another artificial deadline, claiming he expected that by June 1 the U.S. would be in the midst of recovering from the virus and the economic turmoil it has brought along with it.
‘We can expect that by June 1 we will be well on our way to recovery. We think by June 1 a lot of great things will be happening,’ Trump told reporters gathered for the briefing – a few more than usual due to the outdoors setting.
Over the weekend the death toll from coronavirus in the U.S. doubled in just one day, and surpassed 2,000.
Much of the cases stem from the New York tri-state area, and on Saturday Trump floated completely quarantining New York and parts of New Jersey and Connecticut.
The move, if it were carried out, would have restricted travel to and from the three states, which are some of the hardest-hit by the outbreak, as it emerged that 209 people died in New York in the last 24 hours.
New York City is already on complete lockdown, with individuals told to stay home and all non-essential businesses closed.
When asked about the potential of quarantining those states, Trump asserted Sunday that he never floated that idea.
‘Yesterday why did you publicly threaten quarantine on New York, New Jersey, parts of Connecticut?’ a reporter asked Sunday evening.
‘I didn’t do that at all. Read the statement, read the statement. Read what I said. I said we’re going to look into possibly quarantine. I didn’t say, ‘We’re going to quarantine,’ Trump shot back at the Bloomberg News reporter.
‘I looked at it as a possibly because a lot of our professionals suggested quarantine. I said, ‘We’re going to look at it.’ We then looked at it, you see – who are you with. Bloomberg, right? I can’t imagine that,’ he sarcastically quipped at the reporter.
‘Let me just tell you, I didn’t threaten it. I don’t go around threatening,’ he continued, adding that healthcare professionals ‘love’ the idea of quarantining because it’s the ‘ultimate of distancing.’
Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday Donald Trump only decided against quarantining New York City’s tri-state area after ‘very intense discussions’ at the White House Saturday night. ‘After discussions with the President we made it clear and he agreed, it would be much better to do what’s called a strong advisory’
On Saturday Trump floated the idea of quarantining while speaking with reporters.
‘Some people would like to see New York quarantined because it’s a hotspot — New York, New Jersey maybe one or two other places, certain parts of Connecticut quarantined. I’m thinking about that right now,’ Trump told the press Saturday.
‘We might not have to do it but there’s a possibility that sometime today we’ll do a quarantine – short term – two weeks for New York, probably New Jersey, certain parts of Connecticut.’
He said the possible quarantine would be ‘short-term’ but that it would be ‘enforceable’.
The government’s top immunologist and expert on infectious diseases Anthony Fauci said Sunday that Trump ended up not going through with quarantining after a ‘very intense discussion.’
Instead, Trump ordered a travel advisory, which was sent out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Saturday night.