WASHINGTON, March 16 (RT) - The White House is encouraging people to avoid crowds of 10 or more and practice social distancing over the next 15 days, while President Donald Trump admits the response to the disease could last for months.
The safety tips released by the White House on Monday include avoiding large public spaces like restaurants, bars, and food courts, which shouldn’t be hard since states like New York, Illinois and others have ordered such establishments to only service takeout and delivery customers.
The elderly, who are most at risk of dying from the coronavirus, are encouraged to “stay home and away from people” in the new guidelines. The handout from also suggests young, healthy people do their part and practice social distancing, as well.
“It is critical that you do your part to stop the spread of the coronavirus,” it reads.
Trump revealed a vaccine for the virus is in phase one clinical trials, but he said life will likely not return to normal for US citizens until “July or August,” but admitted it could take even longer than that.
The public has already been facing new financial burdens with businesses across the nation shutting down in response to the coronavirus. School closures have also led to the issue of children not being fed who relied on free or reduced-price lunches previously gotten at school.
Hospitals are bracing for more coronavirus patients as state and federal responses get more serious, with some choosing to cancel elective surgeries to clear up space for coronavirus patients.
Several hospitals in the Seattle area, for instance, have canceled elective surgeries for the next 30 days.
The president at his briefing that the best thing for the economy is to “get through this crisis.” Asked whether we are headed into a recession, he said, “well, yes, we may be.”
Shortly after his remarks on the economy, the Dow Jones plunged by nearly 3000 at the close of trading on Monday. The 13 percent drop marks the worst for the Dow since the infamous Black Monday crash in 1987.
Asked about closing the US’ borders, Trump said he has not yet made a decision, but it is something the administration is “thinking” about.
The president also addressed primary votes being postponed in places like Ohio, where the governor is seeking to push Tuesday's vote to June.
Calling the decision to cancel a vote "tough," the president said it's a decision he will leave in the hands of states, rather than the federal government.
“I’d leave that up to the states, that’s a big deal postponing an election,” he said.
Arizona, Florida and Illinois also have primary votes on Tuesday.
Putting social distancing into practice, the White House press room sat reporters one seat apart, unusual for a room that is typically crammed shoulder-to-shoulder with people.