Trump’s Guidelines To Open Up
April 18, 2020 (EIRNS)—Yesterday’s White House press briefing on the COVID-19 discussed the “Guidelines To Open Up America Again,” focusing on Phase One of three phases. On Monday, the White House Coronavirus Task Force will hold a detailed conference call and dialog with governors on the Guidelines. Vice President Pence reported that to qualify for Phase One, states must have declining infection rates, the proper medical facilities, proper testing, and programs to protect workers and the vulnerable.
North Dakota and Idaho are reported to have announced that all non-essential businesses can reopen on May 1. Texas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Vermont, and Florida have announced that they will begin relaxing some guidelines. Florida today opened its beaches for part of the day, and people crowded in—even though Florida today suffered its highest daily rate of new infections and deaths: 1,421 new infections, 58 deaths.
Adm. Brett Giroir, the Assistant Secretary for Health, said that the U.S. has now completed well over 3.78 million tests, of which 1.2 million were completed in the last week. It was pointed out that ordinarily we complete 2 million molecular tests (DNA/genetic tests) a year, but twice that number have now been done in weeks.
Trump reported that he had spoken with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and that the U.S. will be sending ventilators to Mexico.
There are now 5,500 active duty military, including 716 medical professionals, working in 14 hospitals—ten in New York City and one each in Texas, Louisiana, Connecticut, and New Jersey.
On testing, Dr. Deborah Birx said that last month, Louisiana aggressively tested 27 tests per 1,000 people, mostly in New Orleans and suburbs. She compared that to Italy, where they have reached about 20 tests per 1,000. She said this is a high enough level for evaluation. She noted that now every state has the capacity to test 30 or more per 1,000 except Oregon, Maine, and Montana!
On Monday, April 20, the Task Force will hold a conference call with governors on the Guidelines.