WASHINGTON, March 25, 2020 — President Trump and the White House coronavirus task force urged people who have left New York in recent days to self-quarantine for 14 days to prevent the spread of coronavirus, during a briefing Tuesday evening.
After coronavirus task force member Dr. Deborah Birx first brought up the guidance, Dr. Anthony Fauci acknowledged that New York has “suffered terribly” from the outbreak and said that self-isolating for two weeks will be “very important” because the administration doesn’t want that to be “another seeding point” for the rest of the country.
Vice President Mike Pence then explained why the coronavirus task force is particularly focused on New York, saying that the New York metro area made up 60% of new cases in the country.
Trump later agreed that New York is a “hot spot” for the outbreak, but didn’t directly address whether he gave New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo a heads up about the White House’s newest guidance for people who recently left New York.
“We’re talking to them about it,” Trump said.
After agreeing that New York is a “hot spot” for the outbreak, Trump said he’s looking to open up the “farm belt.”
“Take a look at the farm belt. Look at areas out west. Look at big sections of Texas,” Trump said. “I was talking to the great governor of Texas — they have done a fantastic job out there — but they have very big sections of Texas where it’s like numerous states, frankly. But we can have large sections of — if we want to do it that way — we can have large sections of the country open.”
When asked about Trump’s Easter timeline, Fauci said that is “really very flexible.”
“We just had a conversation with the President in the oval office talking about, you know, you can look at a date but you got to be very flexible,” Fauci said. “On literally, day by day, week by week basis you need to evaluate the feasibility of what you’re trying to do.”
Pence explained why the coronavirus task force is particularly focused on New York.
“The reality is the New York metro area was 60% of the new cases in the country and specifically, as a layperson, I can tell you that the infection rates are roughly one in 1000 in the New York City metropolitan area where they are .2% per thousand or .1% per thousand in places like Washington state,” Pence said. “It is the reason why today the white house coronavirus task Force is calling on any American, first and foremost, if you’re in the New York City metropolitan area or elsewhere, to take the guidelines that we issued and avoid non-essential travel.”
Pence added that he supports anyone in the New York metropolitan area to self-isolate for 14 days. And that for anyone in the area who has traveled, the task force is encouraging them to monitor your temperature and be sensitive to symptoms.
Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow says the economic rescue package to address the coronavirus outbreak comes to “roughly $6 trillion,” with $2 trillion going to direct assistance and $4 trillion in federal reserve lending power.
Kudlow added this will be the “largest main street financial package in the history of the United States” as the country heads for a rough period.”
After acknowledging that New York has “suffered terribly” from the outbreak, Fauci piggybacked off of Dr. Birx’s point that people who have left New York in recent days should self-quarantine.
Fauci said that if people who were in New York want to go to different places for their own safety, they have need “to be careful, monitor themselves.”
If they get sick, bring it to the attention of a physician, get tested,” Fauci said. “Also the idea of about self-isolating for two weeks will be very important because we don’t want that to be another seeding point for the rest of the country, wherever they go.”
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