As coronavirus cases in the United States are on a rise, President Donald Trump on Thursday unveiled a three-phase plan to reopen the States from the lockdown. A document entitled "Opening Up America" was shared by Trump with the Governors detailing a recommended three-phase plan to reopen States. Before a phased reopening, a State or region has to record a decrease in total COVID-19 cases and positive tests. However, the guidance plan does not specify a timeline for relaxing social distancing restrictions. The US has 654,301 confirmed cases and 32,186 deaths due to the novel coronavirus.
"America wants to be open and Americans want to be open. A national shutdown is not a sustainable long-term solution. My administration is issuing new federal guidelines that will allow governors to take a phased and deliberate approach to reopen their individual states," Trump said. Trump also added that re-opening the US economy would be done "one careful step at a time" and called on State Governors to move "very, very quickly, depending on what they want to do".
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In the 18-page guidance document about the three-phase plan, Trump in the first phase has focussed on the continuation of "social distancing" norms. The White House document also defines 'vulnerable individuals under this phase, and advises them to isolate themselves and take precaution. It also states that "non-essential travel" should be avoided.
In the second phase, Trump's plan suggests reopening schools and organized youth activities, sit-down dining, movie theatres, sporting venues, places of worship, elective surgeries, Gyms, and bars, suggesting them to strictly follow social distancing norms. This phase has however prohibited visits to senior care facilities and hospitals.
In the third phase, Trump's plan allows unrestricted staffing in the workplaces, allows visits to senior care facilities and hospitals while suggests low-risk populations to minimize time spent in crowded environments. Each phase in this plan will last a minimum of 14 days. Trump, on Wednesday, claimed that data shows that the United States has "passed the peak" of COVID-19 cases nationwide.
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Trump on Wednesday halted US funding to the UN body after alleging mismanaging the coronavirus crisis. Trump has blamed WHO's "very much sided" approach to China on coronavirus crisis, asserting that many people are unhappy with the global health agency and feel that "it's been very unfair". Trump said: "Today I am instructing my administration to halt the funding of WHO while the review is conducted is assessing WHO's role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the Coronavirus.
In an obvious reference to China, he said: "Everybody knows what's going on there." American taxpayer provides about 400 million to 500 million dollars per year to WHO in contrast China contributes only 40 million dollars or less. As the highest contributor, it is our duty to insist on full accountability."