US President Donald Trump backed off from earlier suggestion to restore normalcy ahead of Easter and extended the stay-at-home guidelines until April end. Addressing a press briefing at the White House Rose Garden, Trump said that the coronavirus pandemic is likely to hit its peak in two weeks and emphasised the importance of strongly following the guidelines.
Trump’s reversal from an earlier stance came after sharp criticism from several corners amid rising cases of coronavirus in the United States taking over China and Italy. The US has reported over 1.42 lakh confirmed cases of coronavirus, the highest in the world, and 2,484 deaths.
“Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won...that would be the greatest loss of all...the better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end,” said Trump.
Trump touted the authorisation of Abbott laboratories' molecular point-of-care test to detect COVID-19 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The molecular point-of-care test that delivers positive COVID-19 results in as little as 5 minutes and negative results in 13 minutes.
"The deployment of rapid testing will vastly accelerate our ability to monitor, track, contain and ultimately defeat the virus," said Trump.
Vice President Mike Pence also addressed the briefing and commended the authorities working at the state and local level to combat the pandemic. “To all of you who are managing your states; to all of you that are implementing those healthcare policies on the local level, you have our admiration and our commitment to continue to be with you,” said Pence.
Apart from a public health crisis, the coronavirus pandemic has become a major economic issue for the world and the US President signed a $2 trillion stimulus package to provide an assurance to individuals and businesses. The legislation provides for $250 billion for direct payments to individuals and families and $350 billion in small business loans.
(Image source: AP)