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Trump Extending Coronavirus Social Distancing Guidelines Until April 30, Dropping Goal of Reopening By Easter

At Sunday’s Coronavirus Task Force Briefing, President Donald Trump announced that his administration was extending the coronavirus social distancing guidelines until April 30, dropping his previously-mentioned goal of Easter, April 12.

Trump praised the work done by task force members like Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx — “these people are amazing,” “the best in the world” — and noted that the mitigation measures they had recommended and America had implemented “may significantly reduce the number of new infections, and ultimately, the number of fatalities.”

“I want the American people to know that your selfless, inspiring and valiant efforts are saving countless lives,” said Trump. “You are making the difference.”

The modeling indicated that the peak in COVID-19 death rates was likely to come in two weeks, and the president urged everyone to continue to strictly follow the guidelines.

“Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won,” he said. “That would be the greatest loss of all. Therefore, the next two weeks, and during this period, it’s very important that everyone strongly follow the guidelines.”

Accordingly, Trump continued, the guidelines would be extended until April 30.

Later, during the question-and-answer segment, the president was asked if “floating Easter [as a date to end social distancing] was a mistake.”

Trump scoffed at the suggestion, “No — it was just an aspiration.”

Easter, he continued, could be a peak period, before the number of coronavirus deaths started to come down, and the White House did not want to have the death rate decrease, relax the guidelines prematurely, and then see the death rates “spike up” again.

In response to follow up questions, Trump insisted that Easter was an “aspirational” date.

So, that was an aspirational number. I didn’t say Easter. I said it would be a great thing if we could do it by Easter, and we know much more now than we knew two or three weeks ago. Easter should be the peak number, and it should start coming down, and hopefully very substantially from that point.

Watch the videos above, via CNN.

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