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Trump Extends Social Distancing Guidelines to April 30 as U.S. Cases Top 140,000

200,000 Americans could die even if the U.S. takes aggressive action, Fauci says.

Two of the top doctors advising President Trump on the coronavirus pandemic warned on Sunday that as many as 200,000 Americans could die during the outbreak, even with much of the country already under stay-at-home orders and practicing social distancing.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Time For News Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said during a White House briefing that the grim projection was based on scientific modeling, and the forecasts had convinced Mr. Trump to extend social distancing guidelines through the end of April.

“I think it’s entirely conceivable that if we do not mitigate to the extent that we’re trying to do that you could reach that number,” Dr. Fauci said.

Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the lead coordinator of the White House’s coronavirus task force, said that without any precautionary measures, the same models projected that 1.6 million to 2.2 million Americans could die from complications of the virus.


Dr. Birx said it was a huge sacrifice for Americans being asked to stay home another month.

“They have to know that we really built this on scientific Press Release Distribution Services evidence and the potential to save hundreds of thousands of American lives,” she said.
Trump extends the federal government’s social-distancing guidelines through the end of April.

President Trump at the White House on Sunday.Credit...Pete Marovich for The New York Times
President Trump said Sunday that the federal government’s guidelines for social distancing would last until April 30, backing down from his previous comments that he hoped the country could go back to work by Easter.

He had clashed with public health experts around the country when he suggested that the guidelines — which urge people to stay at home and not to gather in groups of more than 10 — might be relaxed by April 12. His announcement on Sunday indicated that he had backed down from that suggestion.

A commercial aircraft carrying gloves, masks, gowns and other medical supplies from Shanghai touched down at Kennedy International Airport in New York earlier on Sunday, the first of 22 scheduled flights that White House officials say will funnel much-needed goods to the United States by early April.

The plane carried 130,000 N95 masks, nearly 1.8 million surgical masks and gowns, 10 million gloves and more than 70,000 thermometers, said Lizzie Litzow, a spokeswoman for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA will provide the majority of the supplies to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, with the rest going to nursing homes in the area and other high-risk areas across the country, a White House spokesman said.

While the supplies will be welcomed by hospitals and health care workers — some of whom have resorted to rationing protective gear or using homemade supplies — they represent just a tiny portion of what American hospitals need. The Department of Health and Human Services has estimated that the United States will require 3.5 billion masks in the event of a pandemic lasting a year.

The pandemic has started a race among foreign governments, American governors and mayors, good Samaritans and opportunists to acquire protective gear, ventilators and other goods from China, the source of more than one-third of medical supplies in the United States in 2019. While China’s own coronavirus epidemic has subsided since February, newly built factory lines in the country are beginning to churn out masks, gowns and gloves. 

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