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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Trump Urges Americans to Keep the Social Distancing Policy Until April 30

Social Distancing
(Photo : Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay )

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

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U.S. President Donald Trump said Sunday that aggressive efforts to counter the coronavirus pandemic will continue until the end of April, losing his expectation that the nation will end its lockout restrictions by Easter, which will be observed in two weeks' time.

The federal government's initial 15-day period of social distancing expires on Monday and Trump expressed an interest in easing the national guidelines at least in less-affected areas of the country.

The extension provisions would include working from home, restricting the number of meetings to 10 individuals or fewer, and avoiding non-essential travel before the specified date.

Trump said in a Sunday White House media briefing, "the better you do, the sooner the whole thing will end." He said earlier this week he would finalize a new strategy, and reveal the specifics on Tuesday.

The statement marked a dramatic reversal from a week ago when the president said he was persuaded that the distancing restrictions will cause irreparable economic harm.

The president added that his administration will make public on Tuesday updates about the continuing war against the disease in "a review of our results, supporting evidence and strategy."

Trump's desire to restore normality was in conflict with Dr. Anthony Fauci's, the government's top infectious disease specialist, with a stern reality check on Sunday, who said the US could suffer more than 100,000 deaths and millions of pandemic infections.

His decision to expand the guidelines represented an understanding that the battle would take place over a longer period of time.

Reported cases of COVID-19 tend to spike in the US as more testing is administered - and as more people have died. As of Sunday, more than 130,000 cases have been reported in the US and over 2,400 people have perished.

In the past days, Trump's aides explored different ideas for potential alternatives - like allowing certain states to reopen on limited capacity businesses - but obviously this was met with widespread criticisms from different sectors.

Meanwhile, ongoing monitoring issues have prevented the full picture of the spread of the virus from being available, leaving officials with no clear understanding of which states are performing better than the others.

Dr. Fauci, who estimated on CNN that more than 100,000 Americans might potentially die and millions more infected from coronavirus, gave the size of the epidemic extreme urgency on Sunday.

During his briefing Trump indicated that he did not accept the larger numbers Fauci had listed earlier in the day, and called him to the podium. But Fauci merely echoed the statistics he previously cited.

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