(ConservativePeak.com) – Another day, another stark warning from the White House.
On Monday, President Donald Trump advised that all Americans should avoid gatherings of more than 10 people, urging elderly and the sick to stay at home, as part of guidelines created to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
The press conference on Monday took a more somber tone than usual, with Trump looking sobered by the fact that the virus continues to grow and so, too, are the effects it’s having on everyday life. The president didn’t try to downplay the severity of the virus or say that it’s going away anytime soon.
Instead, his words — and the way he said them — reflected a man who has come to understand the true gravity of the situation.
The new guidelines came as Americans across the country are feeling the effects of the coronavirus locally. Many states have officially outlawed gatherings of large groups and have shut down all schools for the time being, while others have taken further steps by setting a curfew and ordering all non-essential businesses to close.
In Northern California, seven counties ordered residents to shelter-in-place.
Asked when he thought life might return to normal in the United States, Trump said:
“We’ll see what happens, but they think August, could be July, could be longer than that.”
Among the new guidelines is a recommendation for everyone to avoid restaurants, bars and food courts, as well as discretionary travel. The White House also suggested schools close and people avoid social visits at their homes.
“If everyone makes this change or these critical changes and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus and we’re going to have a big celebration all together,” Trump said Monday.
For now, the guidance will remain in place for the next 15 days.
The recommendations come after some rather contentious debate back and forth between Trump administration officials and leading health experts. The group, according to reports, was debating everything from the guidelines that came out of the meeting, plus stricter potential restrictions on domestic travel.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has played an integral role in developments and is the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at Monday’s press conference:
“Some may look at them (the recommendations) and say they’re going to be really inconvenient for people. Some will look and say, well, maybe we’ve gone a little bit too far? They were well thought out.
“I’ll say it over and over again — when you’re dealing with an emerging infectious diseases outbreak, you are always behind where you think you are.”
Despite how strict they are — reducing the size of gatherings from the 50 the CDC put out Sunday night to 10 — the White House guidelines are merely recommendations, not mandates. So far, the administration has avoided putting on too many mandated restrictions, other than on international travel. Those restrictions, to this point, have come from local state-run governments.