The White House is unveiling new guidelines today aimed at rolling back states’ stay-at-home orders protecting against the spread of the coronavirus. President Trump’s call to wind down social distancing came as the United States recorded more than 2,400 deaths in just 24 hours — the highest one-day total for any nation since the start of the pandemic.
President Donald Trump: “The battle continues, but the data suggests that nationwide we have passed the peak on new cases.”
Across the U.S., there are over 644,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, though the true number is likely far higher due to a critical shortage of tests. More than 28,500 have died of the disease nationwide in just a matter of weeks. Despite that, President Trump said some states could begin relaxing social distancing restrictions before the end of April. The plan has drawn intense fire from medical professionals — and even corporate executives tapped by Trump to advise on reopening the economy. They said Wednesday far more testing needs to be in place before workers can return to factories, schools, stores and office spaces.
This week, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health warned that unless a vaccine becomes widely available, social distancing may have to extend until 2022 to prevent a surge of COVID-19 cases that could break the U.S. healthcare system.