Mandel Ngan / AFP through Getty Images
Updated at 7:50 ET
President Trump said “we certainly want to try” to lift life restrictions in the U.S. on April 30 but he did not make a definite commitment at a press conference on Monday at the White House.
Trump is trying to walk between a gloomy warning rope about a new surge in death estimates for the coming weeks and optimistic excitement about how well he has said his response.
“Extraordinary progress has been made in a very short period of time,” Trump said.
He read out a list of other statistics about medical equipment and supplies and said the material was being deployed in the places needed before more cases grew.
U.S. General Surgeon Jerome Adams said Fox News Sunday that that week would be “the hardest and saddest week in the lives of most Americans.”
“This will be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment, only it will not be localized. It will happen throughout the country,” Adams said.
The White House holds a briefing for 5 p.m. ET Monday to provide updates on its responses. Watch the briefing in person.
Trump is furious over reports of deficiencies, problems
The president rejected a report on Monday that deficiencies persisted in personal protective equipment and COVID-19 tests.
He responded to the report by inspector general of the Ministry of Health and Human Services by suggesting that it was politically motivated, demanding to know when IG vice-principal Christi Grimm was appointed. He assumed his post in January after a career at the agency.
The president also complained when asked about some of the initial difficulties associated with implementing a small business loan assistance program.
“This is a very positive event and you ask it in a negative way,” Trump said.
The president insisted that he and his government were praised for what he called a successful response and he attacked reporters for not enough praise.
The hospital ship developed into COVID-19 cases
The US Naval Hospital sent USNS Comfort, in New York City, and USNS Mercy, in Los Angeles, began receiving coronavirus cases, Trump confirmed on Monday.
Initially two ships, which had around 1,000 beds, were envisioned as a surge capacity for non-pandemic cases that could free up space on land for sufferers of COVID-19.
The demand has reached a point where ships need to start carrying pandemic cases as well.
Coronavirus fourth assistance bill
Trump said he was not yet sure whether he and Congress might need to negotiate a fourth coronavirus aid bill after the previous article The law is $ 2 trillion aims to help the economy.
The president said he would listen, and if more help was needed he would likely register.
Trump said he would have two priorities in potential new legislation: what he called “real infrastructure” – “I’m not looking for a carbon footprint, ‘Green New Deal” – but “real infrastructure,” he said.
And “more money for our citizens,” Trump said, because this was “traumatized.”
The scale of other bills must be “around $ 2 trillion,” he said.
‘Light at the end of the tunnel’
Anthony Fauci, a prominent immunologist and member of the task force, admitted on Sunday that the administration’s message might seem contradictory – to warn Americans about the bleak week ahead while also offering optimism – but said it was not.
“If we begin to see now the leveling or stabilization of the case, what you hear about potential light at the end of the tunnel does not eliminate the fact that tomorrow or the day after tomorrow will look very bad,” Fauci explained. “So we have to make sure we realize we are always talking about a two and a half week break.”
On Monday, Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, another top doctor who helped guide policy at the White House, said they thought it might be possible for America to bring the best case scenario compared to previous projections that suggested the pandemic. can cost between 100,000 and 200,000 lives.
“We see the potential to be below the figures projected by the model,” Birx said.
If enough Americans in enough places to stay at home, avoid large groups, wash their hands and take other steps urged by public health authorities, this pandemic might prove less deadly than feared, he said.
Fauci tried again to explain the dichotomy.
“The model is good,” he said. “They help us make projections. But when you get data, you modify your model … data always beats the model.”
Fauci and Birx say that social modification on the scale now practiced in the United States may be without precedent – which is also why they have dealt a very powerful blow to the economy and resulted around 10 million unemployment claims.
But mitigation measures can flatten the statistical curve of infection and produce a final death rate that is smaller than Fauci and Birx had warned before, they said.
“I don’t think anyone lightened the way I see people reducing the way they are now,” Fauci said. “We can make that number go down.”
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