“The highest point of the death rate is likely to hit in two weeks,” President Trump said on Sunday during Coronavirus taskforce briefing at White House, therefore we will be extending our guidelines.”
The US has 139,675 confirmed cases. As of Sunday evening, 2,436 deaths had been recorded in the country in relation to Covid-19, according to figures collated by Johns Hopkins University. Last week, the United States overtook both China and Italy on the number of reported cases.
Donald Trump said the decision to extend social distancing was made after he heard that 2.2 million people could have died if the US didn’t go through with all the guidelines. Trump had previously said that Easter – the weekend of 12 April – would be a beautiful time to be able to open at least some sections of the country.
Donald Trump noted that “rapid testing” had been approved to get Covid-19 results within five minutes, and that doctor, nurses and other healthcare workers would be tested. He also noted that an anti-viral drug – hydroxychloroquine – was being administered to 1,100 patients in New York. “Let’s see how it works, we may have some incredible results.” President Trump also said that experts were also looking at blood transfusions to treat the sick, using the blood taken from people who had recovered.
Earlier on Sunday, Donald Trump accused hospitals in some states of hoarding ventilators, face masks and other critical medical supplies. “We do have a problem with hoarding… including ventilators. Hospitals need to release them – in some cases, they have too many, they have to release medical supplies and equipment. Hospitals can’t hold ventilators if they think there might be a problem weeks down the road.”
The availability of ventilators is a major concern among health professionals as demand has surged with the spread of the virus. A number of states have warned that they will soon not have enough to treat patients suffering from Covid-19. President Trump has ordered a car manufacturer in Detroit to produce more of the medical machines to satisfy demand.