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Trump Administration Calls on Americans to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

03-17-2020
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Drive-thru testing for COVID-19 at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital in Virginia Beach, Virginia (Photo: CBN News)
Drive-thru testing for COVID-19 at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital in Virginia Beach, Virginia (Photo: CBN News)

The Trump administration is calling on all Americans to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19. 

President Trump and his Coronavirus Task Force fielded questions from reporters Tuesday for more than an hour.  Many of those questions having to do with containment, and of course, the shell-shocked economy. 

One of the things President Trump and others said is that ending this pandemic is everyone's responsibility. And officials reminded the nation that just because you may not be in the at-risk population, you could easily infect someone who is.

Trump said the next 15 days are crucial for the US. 

"So it's 15 days from yesterday," he said. "We'll see what happens after that. If we do this right, our country and the world, frankly, but our country can be rolling again pretty quickly. pretty quickly."

Doing this right, the President, said would include observing the new CDC guidance with tighter restrictions on public gatherings.

"And we're asking everyone to work at home if possible, postpone unnecessary travel and limit social gatherings to no more than 10 people," Trump said. 

There were also calls for the public to avoid visiting nursing homes, containing the country's most vulnerable.

At least 35 states have ordered public schools closed with at least 15 activating the National Guard. The World Health Organization (WHO) made its plea clear.

"We have a simple message for all countries. Test, test, test," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general.

The US Food and Drug Administration is expanding its earlier guidance allowing states to approve their own COVID-19 tests to speed up the process.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam said increased testing is on the way, but in the meantime urged caution.

"That means do not go to St. Patrick's Day parties tonight. If you do you are literally putting others at risk," he said. 

While primary elections are moving forward in Illinois, Arizona, and Florida, Ohio's governor called them off citing virus concerns.  

The country's health officials are sounding optimistic overall. 

"But I wouldn't put us to task every few days, wait a minute it's going up, is it working or not. That would be really misleading if we do that," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Tuesday that the Pentagon will provide 5 million respirators and 2,000 specialized ventilators to federal health authorities to help in the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Esper told reporters that the ventilators are designed for use by deployed troops and the military will need to train civilians how to use them.  He said some may have "single-use" limitations.

US officials have talked about the shortage of ventilators to help treat patients with the virus.

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