Donald Trump: Coronavirus outbreak could last until July or August
The penny has finally dropped for the US President.
For the first time since he spoke on the Covid-19 outbreak in January, President Donald Trump bore the look of a man that was accepting how serious the matter was.
President Trump and US Vice President Mike Pence fronted a press briefing at The White House at 3:30pm [US Eastern Time] on Monday and dropped the front.
Trump admitted that "certain areas" of the United States may be locked down to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, but he ruled out moving to a national lockdown. For now.
Ever the optimist, Trump started off the briefing with his own brand of gushing positivity, declaring he would back the country's ailing airlines 100%. However, it was when the president was pushed by media correspondents in the Q&A section that a clearer picture emerged. Initially, Trump stated:
"There's a very contagious virus; it's incredible. But it's something that we have tremendous control of."
Pressed by CNN reporter Kaitlin Collins, though, President Trump admitted, "If you’re talking about the virus, that’s not under control for any place in the world."
As the press briefing at The White House rolled on, the US stock market crashed 2,977 points, or a 12% drop, and is in free-fall. During the briefing, Trump confirmed that the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was advising the American public to avoid gatherings of larger than 10 people.
— Fin Gómez (@finnygo) March 16, 2020
Trump, it must be noted, compared the Coronavirus with "the regular flu" and speculated that warmer weather, as we moved further into 2020, could help alleviate matters.
Asked when the country could hope to 'turn the corner' amid the Coronavirus pandemic, he responded:
"If we do a really good job, we’ll not only hold the death down to a level that is much lower than the other way, had we not done a good job, but people are talking about July, August, something like that."
Monday saw the United States experience its biggest daily jump in terms of confirmed Coronavirus cases. The number of US cases has surpassed 3,900, up more than 500 cases in a day, while there have been 70 virus-related deaths.