The initial orders imposed by the federal government were set to expire on March 30.
Rabat – President Trump announced extending the United States national shutdown by one month, until April 30. The decision marks a shift from the Trump administration’s previous approach, widely criticized by health officials for putting the economy before people.
Trump’s move comes after weeks of dire predictions and warnings from American health officials. In his most recent appearance, Dr. Anthony Fauci, a prominent immunologist and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, predicted “millions of cases” and “between 100,000 and 200,000” deaths in a CNN interview on March 29.
The US confirmed 139,773 infections and 2,429 deaths as of March 30, with the mortality level at 1.7%. The country’s number of infections is the greatest worldwide, but American health officials point out that many cases within the United States go unreported and consequently, COVID-19’s expansion is broader than officially reported.
On March 30, 225 million Americans, accounting for close to two-thirds of the country’s population, experienced some form of a stay-at-home order. The safety measures vary between states, with 28 out of 50 states participating in the lockdown.
The Trump administration claimed that the lockdown is more detrimental for Americans than deaths from COVID-19 due to the strain it puts on the American economy. President Trump was planning on reopening the economy as soon as Easter, which will fall on April 12. In his speech announcing the lockdown extension, he renounced his previous plans as “aspirational.”
In a clear reference to Dr. Fauci’s predictions, President Trump claimed that if his administration manages to keep the deaths down to 100,000, it will have performed “a very good job.”
“Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won,” he added, explaining that he expects the infections to peak in two weeks. “We can expect by June 1st we will be well on our way to recovery.”
Dr. Anthony Fauci commented on the lockdown extension, praising it as “wise and prudent”.