On Sunday March 29, President Donald Trump held a press conference from the Rose Garden at the White House to update the nation on the government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. President Trump announced that the social distancing guidelines would be extended to at least April 30, and that he believes it would be a victory if deaths from the coronavirus are kept between 100,000 to 200,000. 

The United States recently overtook China in having the most confirmed cases of COVID-19, though there are questions about whether China has been accurately reporting its data. Some have even suggested that the reason China’s number of confirmed cases has leveled off so sharply is because they have ceased testing people for the virus. 

On March 27, The Daily Citizen reported that confirmed cases of the coronavirus had exceeded 97,000 within the United States. As of this writing four days later, confirmed cases have nearly doubled to over 181,000. 

The ongoing spread of the virus caused the President to extend the social distancing guidelines.

“During this period, it’s very important that everyone strongly follow the guidelines. The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end. Therefore, we will be extending our guidelines to April 30th to slow the spread,” President Trump announced. He added that more specific guidelines for the extended distancing would likely be released on Tuesday, March 31. 

The President also announced during the press conference that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had worked with Abbot Labs to develop a rapid test for COVID-19 which can deliver results in as little as five minutes. Abbot Labs will be delivering 50,000 tests daily starting this week. 

“The deployment of rapid testing will vastly accelerate our ability to monitor, track, contain and ultimately defeat the virus,” the President stated. 

In response to a question from a reporter, the President said he hopes deaths due to the coronavirus will be kept between 100,000 to 200,000. “If we can hold the death rate down, as we’re saying, to 100,000 — that’s a horrible number — maybe even less, but to 100,000; so we have between 100- and 200,000 — we all, together, have done a very good job,” the President said.

In his concluding remarks prior to taking questions, President Trump reiterated his faith in the resolve, ingenuity and perseverance of the American people. “I want every citizen in our country to take heart and confidence in the fact that we have the best medical minds in the world tackling this disease,” the President stated.

“We have the best science, the best researchers, and the best talent anywhere working night and day to protect your family and loved ones and to overcome this pandemic. With the grace of God, we are rising to the occasion. We are proving that no darkness can overshadow the eternal light of American courage.”


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