A day after changing course and moving to extend social distancing guidelines through the end of April to fight the Coronavirus, President Donald Trump told a friendly interview on Fox News that Americans must do their part to help hold down the number of deaths from the virus outbreak.
"It's hard work to stay in place, to distance yourself," the President said in a Monday morning phone call to "Fox and Friends."
"And hopefully, we will keep the deaths down to a minimum," the President said, after telling Americans on Sunday that if his administration can keep deaths from the virus to 100,000, that would be a 'good job.'
For weeks the President had sought to downplay the threat of the virus, saying at one point the number of cases would soon go to zero - but on Sunday, he accepted new scientific models which showed deaths ranging from 100,000 to 200,000 if mitigation efforts to slow the spread are effective.
Trump says he has to hang up from his hour-long Fox News telephoner to make other calls, including one to Putin to talk oil, trade, coronavirus.— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) March 30, 2020
“It’s like the old times,” he tells the Fox & Friends hosts, referring to phoners during 2016 race, “but this is a serious deal.” pic.twitter.com/acRtgRvScw
In his Fox News interview, Mr. Trump spoke again about conditions at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, New York, near where the President grew up, as that hospital has been swamped by Coronavirus cases.
"It's terrible what's going on, there's body bags all over, they're bringing in refrigerator trucks," the President said.
In New York, field hospitals are being built at several locations to bolster medical treatment - including one in Central Park - as the scenes inside local hospitals are getting extra attention from the city tabloids.
"This is the kind of thing you will see now as the crisis develops and deepens."— QuickTake by Bloomberg (@QuickTake) March 30, 2020
A 68-bed field hospital is being built in New York's Central Park, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Sunday pic.twitter.com/FYQb6wywgB
While the President has focused on the situation in New York, top health officials have also raised red flags about growing virus problems in other areas - like Louisiana, Chicago, and Detroit.
The total number of deaths in the U.S. was nearing 2,500 on Monday morning, as the President said the peak rate was expected by Easter.
Currently, the total number of deaths in the U.S. is doubling every three days. If that pace continues in the short term, the U.S. would pass the number of swine flu deaths next week (12,000), and reach over 60,000 deaths by Easter.
About the Author