New federal guidelines for a slow phased-in return to normalcy

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New White House guidelines outline a phased approach to restoring normal commerce and services, but only for places with strong testing and seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases, the AP reports. [Testing is the biggest canard. You could test on Tuesday and not have the virus and test positive on Thursday. The tests are a waste of time.]

The guidelines have not been published yet but the AP has seen them and gave a rundown. It’s a slow recovery, very slow.

President Trump unveiled his administration’s plans to ease social distancing requirements on a call Thursday with the nation’s governors.

Places that meet the requirements of strong testing and a decrease in virus cases will begin a three-phased gradual reopening of businesses and schools with each phase lasting 14 days. That is meant to ensure there are no new outbreaks.

[Update: President Trump cited nine states that really haven’t been impacted very much. Wyoming, Alaska, North Dakota, Montana, Hawaii, West Virginia, Vermont, Maine, and Nebraska. They’re going to open with the exception of Hawaii, and Hawaii has ruined its economy because of nobody in, nobody out. But they don’t have many cases in Hawaii, 530. That’s all. The death rate is 9. They really will have to open. Ohio also announced they will take part in the first batch of states to re-open.]

States that are in big trouble won’t come back until summer in all likelihood.

The process will be a lot longer than President Trump originally planned.

At the earliest, the guidelines suggest that some parts of the country could see a resumption in normal commerce and social gatherings after a month of evaluating whether the easing of restrictions leads to a resurgence in virus cases. In other parts of the country, or if virus cases resume an up-tick, it could be substantially longer.

GOVERNORS CALL THE SHOTS

President Trump told the governors that they would call the shots.

“You’re going to call your own shots,” Trump told governors, according to an audio recording obtained by The Associated Press. “We’re going to be standing alongside of you.”

Those who are most in danger of respiratory disease will be advised to remain sheltered in place until the final phase. They must still practice social distancing.

We have 22 million Americans now out of work but his task force and the governors want to be certain the public health is safeguarded first and foremost.

Business leaders, too, raised concerns to the president in a round of calls Wednesday, warning that a dramatic increase in testing and a wider availability of protective equipment will be necessary before they can safely revive operations.

IN SOME PLACES, THEY WILL WAIT FOR THE VACCINE

The federal government envisions a gradual recovery from the virus, in which disruptive mitigation measures may be needed in some places at least until a vaccine is available — a milestone unlikely to be reached until sometime next year.

It’s possible they will never have a vaccine, although they aren’t saying that. We still do not have a vaccine for AIDS or SARS.

Trump said Wednesday that data indicates the U.S. is “past the peak” of the COVID-19 epidemic. He said the numbers have “put us in a very strong position to finalize guidelines for states on reopening the country.”

Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, added that data from across the country showed the nation “improving,” but that Americans had to recommit to social distancing to keep up the positive momentum.

She said nine states have fewer than 1,000 cases and just a few dozen new cases per day. She said those would likely be the first to see a lifting in social distancing restrictions at the direction of their governors under the guidelines set to be released Thursday.


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