President Donald Trump announced on Sunday that his administration was extending the social distancing guidelines for the entire month of April in an effort to halt the spread of the coronavirus.
“I want the American people to know that your selfless inspiring and valiant efforts are saving countless lives,” Trump said. “You are making the difference. The modeling estimates that the peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks, so I will say it again, the peak, highest point of death rates, remember this, is likely to hit in two weeks.”
“Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won,” Trump continued. “That would be the greatest loss of all. Therefore, the next two weeks and during this period, it’s very important that everyone strongly follow the guidelines, have to follow the guidelines that our great vice president holds up a lot. He’s holding that up a lot. He believes it in so strongly.”
“The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end,” Trump continued. “Therefore, we will be extending our guidelines to April 30th, to slow the spread. On Tuesday, we will be finalizing these plans and providing a summary of our findings, supporting data and strategy to the American people, so we’ll be having lots of meetings in between, but we’ll be having a very important statement made on Tuesday, probably Tuesday evening, on all of the findings, all of the data, and the reasons we’re doing things the way we’re doing them.”
“We can expect that by June 1st, we will be well on our way to recovery, we think by June 1st a lot of great things will be happening,” Trump added. “I want every citizen in our country to take heart and confidence in the fact that we have the best medical minds in the world, tackling this disease. We have the best scientists, the best researchers, the best talent, anywhere working night and day to protect your family and loved ones and to overcome this pandemic. With the grace of god, we’re rising to the occasion. We are proving that no darkness can overshadow the eternal light with American courage. We will win, and when we do, we will rebound with astonishing force and speed.”
Trump also announced that health insurers Cigna and Humana are waiving patient cost-sharing and co-payments for all coronavirus.
“The coverage moves unveiled Sunday are significant and take effect Monday and run through May 31 for all Cigna customers while there is yet ‘no end date’ from Humana health plans,” Forbes reported. “The waiver of co-payments include both in-network and out-of-network medical care providers treating patients with the Coronavirus strain COVID-19.”
The press conference comes as the total number of reported global coronavirus cases sits at nearly 720,000 and total deaths approaches 34,000 people, according to a Johns Hopkins University & Medicine coronavirus tracker. The U.S. currently has nearly 140,000 cases and nearly 2,500 deaths with the largest numbers coming out of New York.
Video: After noting models show death rate will peak in 2 wks, President Trump says: "Therefore, the next 2 wks and during this period, it's very important that everyone strongly follow the [CDC] guidelines…We will be extending our guidelines to April 30th" #coronaviruspandemic pic.twitter.com/p8mM071CAG
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) March 29, 2020
This report has been updated to include additional information.