U.S. President Donald Trump is discouraging gatherings of more than 10 people as part of the federal government’s efforts to curb the nationwide surge in coronavirus infections.
Trump also says he will not impose a nationwide lockdown similar to the ones imposed in recent days by European nations like Italy and France, noting that the government will only “look” at certain “hotspots.”
“At this point not nationwide,” Trump said when asked about the possibility of a nationwide lockdown. “We may look at certain areas, at certain hotspots.”
In an address delivered Monday, Trump said that he expects the coronavirus outbreak to last until July, August or even longer.
“It could be July, August, something like that,” Trump said. “It could be right in that period of time [when] I say it washes through,” he added.
Trump’s restrictions on public gatherings come after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an advisory recommending the cancellation of public events that are expected to be attended by more than 50 people for the next eight weeks.
Among the events highlighted by the agency are conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings and other types of assemblies.
According to the CDC, if possible, the organizers must look for ways to modify their events into a virtual format to protect its attendees during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
“Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing,” the advisory on the CDC website read.
The agency, however, said their recommendation does not apply to the day to day operation of schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses.
According to the CDC, their new guidelines are part of their attempt to reduce the introduction of the coronavirus into new communities, as well as to slow the spread of its infection in communities that are already affected by it. The CDC emphasized, however, that their recommendations are not intended to supersede the advice of local public health officials.
Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a statement Tuesday that health experts are not expecting most people to become seriously ill with COVID-19 — the disease caused by the coronavirus — as reported by Breitbart News.
Messonnier added that while the CDC does recommend stocking up and preparing for a worst-case scenario regarding the current coronavirus outbreaks, the public must not give in to hoarding basic necessities.
“This is a time for people to prepare for what they might need to do but not a time for people to clear out the shelves,” Messonnier stated, pointing out that many Americans — especially those who are aged 60 and above — also need access to basic goods and supplies during the crisis. (Related: How should you prepare for a lockdown? (Hint: It doesn’t involve private islands or jets)
“It’s really clear that it is older Americans who are at the highest risk right now, we want to make sure that they’re taking every precaution to prepare themselves so that if there is a more widespread transmission, they can stick close to home,” she said.
Trump also made a similar comment Sunday, urging Americans to “just relax” and not hoard supplies from stores during the ongoing health crisis as it will be difficult to restock shelves once hoarding takes place.
“There’s no need for anybody in the country to hoard essential food supplies,” Trump stated.
As of this writing, 182,405 people have been infected globally, while 7,154 have died from the coronavirus.
For more up-to-date information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit Pandemic.news.