Corona virus live updates: Trump warns of “painful two weeks”

Apr 1, 2020 11:50 PM ET

President Trump said at his daily coronavirus meeting in the White House that “these will be two very painful, very, very painful two weeks,” but that the Americans will soon “see real light at the end of the tunnel.”

“I want every American to be prepared for the hard days ahead. We have had a couple of very difficult weeks, ”said Trump, who later increased his two weeks to three.

Mr. Trump struck his perhaps darkest tone on the subject, saying the virus was “a great national process like we’ve never seen before” and he said it would “be the full, absolute measure of our collective strength, love and love require “dedication” to minimize the number of people infected.

“Frankly, it’s a matter of life and death,” he said, officially calling for another month of social detachment and offering a sober assessment of the impact of the pandemic in the United States. “It’s about life and death.”

Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator at the White House, urged the Americans to follow the guidelines: no groups of more than 10 people, no unnecessary travel, no visits to restaurants or bars.

“There is no magic bullet, there is no magic vaccine,” she said. “It’s just behavior.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that social distancing measures across the country are slowing the spread of the virus, but made it clear that the national death toll will continue to increase.

“The 15 days we spent mitigating the damage clearly had an impact,” said Dr. Fauci. But he added, “Over the next few days, up to a week or so, we’ll continue to see things go up.”

Mr Trump, who has downplayed the virus threat for weeks and has withdrawn from his recent proposal to reduce social detachment in mid-April, congratulated himself on forecasts that show that public health measures dramatically reduce the national death toll could limit.

“What would have happened if we hadn’t done anything? Because there was a group that said, “Let’s just go out there,” said Mr. Trump, without saying what “group” he was referring to.

Mr Trump said that up to 2.2 million people “would have died if we hadn’t done anything if we had just continued our lives.”

“You would have seen people die on planes, you would have seen people die in hotel lobbies – you would have seen death everywhere,” Trump said. In comparison, a potential death toll of 100,000 is “a very low number”.

When asked how current accident estimates could differ, if Trump had asked for social detachment weeks earlier than mid-March, almost two months after the first confirmed case of coronavirus in the United States, Mr. Trump insisted that he acted have crucial.

“I think we did a great job,” Trump said.

When asked about his repeated assurances to the Americans in the past few weeks that the virus would go away with minimal impact, Mr. Trump insisted, as before, that he was trying to calm the nation.

“I want to be positive. I don’t want to be negative, ”said Trump. “I want to give people in this country hope.

“We’re probably going through the worst thing the country has ever seen,” he added. “We may lose more here than you lose as a country in the world wars.

The government’s leading scientists who battled the corona virus estimated Tuesday that the fatal pathogen could kill between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans, despite social detachment measures that closed schools, prohibited large gatherings, restricted travel, and forced people into theirs Stay houses.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, and Dr. Deborah L. Birx, who coordinates the coronavirus response, showed this gloomy projection at the White House on Tuesday and called it “our real number,” but promised to do everything possible to further reduce those numbers.

The conclusions are generally consistent with those of similar researchers from public health researchers around the world.

As bad as these predictions are, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx said the number of deaths could be much higher if Americans didn’t follow strict guidelines to prevent the virus from spreading, and urged people to take the restrictions seriously.

President Trump, who on Sunday extended the government’s recommendations to slow the spread of the virus by 30 days, made it clear that Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx’s compiled data convinced him that the death toll would be even higher if the restrictions on work, school, travel, and social life were not taken seriously by all Americans.

The data released on Tuesday was the first time that the Trump administration had officially estimated the breadth of the coronavirus threat to human life and the related illness known as Covid-19. In the past few weeks, Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci refused to predict how many people might die in the pandemic, and said that there is insufficient reliable data.

That is no longer the case, they said. By Tuesday afternoon, according to a New York Times database, at least 173,741 people in all states, as well as in Washington, DC and four US territories, had tested positive for the virus. At least 3,433 patients with the virus have died.

When María José Rodríguez heard on local television that her city in northeastern Spain would be closed within a few hours, She knew that she had to go or risk losing her family’s business.

She grabbed a bag of groceries, a fresh change of clothes and her car keys, said goodbye to her husband and drove to her son’s apartment in a nearby village above the family bakery. She has been locked out of the city of Igualada for more than two weeks. Her husband has been locked up and they don’t know how long it will take.

“If I hadn’t moved out to continue the bakery, we should have closed it,” said Ms. Rodríguez, 63, in her shop in the village of La Pobla de Claramunt. “But we’ll be fine and I’ll call my husband 50 times a day. At least.”

Many European countries have implemented various forms of closure to curb the epidemic, but Igualada, an industrial city 30 miles northwest of Barcelona, ​​stands out. As Spain did imposed a nationwide ban, Igualada cut it off from the rest of the country – a ban within a ban.

After the hospital was identified as the hub of a regional outbreak that had seen nearly 20,000 coronavirus infections and more than 2,500 deaths, officials sealed off Igualada and three smaller neighboring towns at midnight on March 12 and stranded approximately 65,000 people.

Police officers guard every access point and only allow essential workers to get on and off. The barriers have divided families like Ms. Rodríguez’s, made people unemployed and left households insecure for weeks, if not longer.

“We are in a cage and we are learning how to stop controlling everything,” said Gemma Sabaté, a 48-year-old physiotherapist who was stranded there.

While political leaders have closed their borders, scientists have broken their borders and created global collaboration like never before in history. Never before, researchers say, have so many experts in so many countries concentrated on one single topic so urgently. Almost all research, with the exception of corona viruses, has come to a standstill.

Normal imperatives such as academic credit points have been removed. Online repositories make studies available months before magazines. Researchers have identified and shared hundreds of viral genome sequences. More than 200 clinical trials have started that have brought together hospitals and laboratories around the world.

For example, one morning scientists at the University of Pittsburgh recently discovered that a ferret exposed to Covid-19 particles developed a high fever – a potential advance towards animal vaccine testing. Under normal circumstances, they would have started working on a scientific journal article.

“But you know what? There will be plenty of time to publish articles,” said Paul Duprex, a virologist who heads the University’s vaccine research. Within two hours, he had the results in a World Health Organization conference call with scientists at the around the world. “It’s pretty cool, isn’t it? You cut the crap because you don’t have a better word and you become part of a global company.”

Dr.’s laboratory Duprex in Pittsburgh works with the Pasteur Institute in Paris and the Austrian pharmaceutical company Themis Bioscience. Funded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation, a Norway-based organization funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and a group of governments, the consortium is in talks with the Serum Institute of India, one of the largest vaccine manufacturers the world in India.

The demand for corporate finance raises concerns about a financial statement reminiscent of 2008.

In a single week in March, when financial markets shook and large parts of the economy began to shut down, banks lent over $ 240 billion in new loans to businesses – twice as much for new loans as they normally do in a year would be forgiven.

American companies are staggering from the body shock caused by the pandemic. With declining sales, slowing travel, and idle production lines, companies have started to lay off or lay off employees, reduce investment in operations, and buy less from their suppliers. You can’t tell when the economy will start up again and try to save money and get as much credit as possible.

The new reality, bankers and analysts say, will be difficult for companies that have gotten used to the simple money of the past decade. Attracted by ultra-low interest rates, they borrowed trillions of dollars, believing that banks would continue to lend and debt markets would always be open. Now many indebted companies, even those whose businesses were not directly affected by the outbreak, are finding that they have to adapt to a time when it is suddenly much more difficult to obtain cash.

Laundry, grocery shopping and even walking the dog are challenging nowadays. The key to accomplishing every essential task is a little preparation, prudent thinking, and a lot of hand washing before and after. (A few antibacterial wipes can’t hurt either.)

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