STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

President Trump expected to formally unveil new coronavirus guidelines and provide models as rationale

The White House will formally reissue nationwide coron...

Posted: Mar 31, 2020 4:23 PM
Updated: Mar 31, 2020 6:57 PM

The White House will formally reissue nationwide coronavirus guidelines on Tuesday after President Donald Trump -- faced with dire models showing up to 200,000 American deaths and polls indicating support for social distancing and calamitous scenes at New York hospitals -- determined another 30 days were necessary to avert disaster.

Not all of Trump's advisers support the decision, and some have privately questioned the models his health advisers used to convince him the distancing efforts were necessary, multiple people familiar with the matter said. Trump faced intense pressure from business leaders and some conservative economists to reopen some parts of the country before ultimately deciding against it.

Amid the internal debate over whether to ease the social distancing efforts, some aides recommended the President only extend them another 15 days, but health advisers argued a month was necessary, people familiar with the discussions said. Trump told aides it would be better to ease the guidelines earlier than expected rather than have to extend them again.

The guidelines are expected to last until April 30.

Trump has explained his decision as a necessary one to protect potentially millions of lives. To that end, Trump and the coronavirus task force plan to delve into more detail on their models using graphs and information during the daily late-afternoon press briefing at the White House on Tuesday.

The principal coordinator on the coronavirus task force, Dr. Deborah Birx, said on Monday the team would come to Tuesday's briefing prepared to back up their recommendations and the President's ultimate decision with data.

"We'll go through all of the graphs and all of the information that we took to the President for the decision," she said.

The picture could be stark. Birx has said their data show that even if the country executes social distancing measures "perfectly," between 100,000 and 200,000 people could still die.

Those predictions don't have universal support inside the White House. There remains a concern among some skeptics on Trump's team that Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci have put stock in models that could be wrong.

Epidemiological models rely on assumptions and can't, by their nature, always be 100% accurate. Much about the virus's spread remains unknown, particularly with persistent problems on getting Americans tested.

Trump himself seemed preoccupied with another figure -- 2.2 million -- during Sunday's briefing. An earlier study from the United Kingdom projected that number of potential American deaths if mitigation efforts weren't taken seriously.

Tuesday marks the expiration of the initial 15-day period for the federal social distancing guidelines that Trump announced earlier in March. He announced Sunday the guidelines would be extended another 30 days but indicated there might be some alterations.

"We will be finalizing these plans and providing a summary of our findings, supporting data and strategy to the American people," Trump said Sunday. "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."

The team also plans to spell out steps its taken to increase testing and surveillance of coronavirus cases in individual states, a key component to containing the spread. Health experts have warned that without adequate testing, it's impossible to know how many people have been infected and which areas are better off.

Contact tracing -- the practice of determining who an infected person may have interacted wit -- also requires robust testing efforts, and is another step experts have said is necessary to containing the virus.

Speaking on CNN, Fauci said Tuesday that social distancing measures were bearing some initial results.

"We're starting to see glimmers that that is actually having some dampening effect," he said.

"I don't want to put too much stock on it because you don't want to get overconfident, you just want to keep pushing in what you're doing," Fauci added. "You're starting to see that the daily increases are not in that steep incline, they're starting to be able to possibly flatten out."

Fauci and Birx presented Trump the models showing between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths during an Oval Office meeting on Sunday that seemed to resonate and helped him finalize his decision.

"He looked at them, he understood them, and he shook his head and said, 'I guess we got to do it,' " Fauci said.

CNN also reported on Monday morning that Trump was struck by grave images from Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, near where he grew up, showing hospital workers inundated with coronavirus cases. The scene helped solidify his decision that further distancing measures were necessary to prevent the disease from spreading.

Polling presented to Trump also helped him determine that asking Americans to keep refraining from going to crowded workplaces or schools would not necessarily be unpopular.

As Trump codifies the extension of the guidelines, he and his advisers are weighing another recommendation with potential political fallout: that Americans being wearing masks or other face coverings, a reversal from earlier federal guidance that indicated such a step wasn't necessary.

Trump appeared open to the idea during Monday's press briefing, but said he didn't anticipate making a long-term mandate on mask-wearing.

"I could see something like that happening for a period of time. But I would hope it would be a very limited period of time," he said.

Fauci told CNN on Tuesday it would be up for "very active discussion" by the task force.

West Lafayette
Overcast
58° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 58°
Kokomo
Overcast
54° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 54°
Rensselaer
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 55°
Fowler
Overcast
55° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 55°
Williamsport
Overcast
58° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 58°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
60° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 60°
Frankfort
Overcast
59° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 59°
Delphi
Overcast
56° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 56°
Monticello
Overcast
56° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 44°
Feels Like: 56°
Logansport
Overcast
54° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 42°
Feels Like: 54°
Windy and Warmer Weather for Wednesday.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 119066

Reported Deaths: 3612
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21563768
Lake10745324
Elkhart6734112
St. Joseph6679115
Allen6364205
Hamilton4965109
Vanderburgh384231
Hendricks2779124
Monroe267137
Tippecanoe259013
Johnson2362125
Clark226757
Porter222447
Delaware201162
Cass19589
Vigo187928
Madison171475
LaPorte151941
Warrick140743
Floyd140464
Howard133964
Kosciusko127117
Bartholomew119357
Marshall102124
Dubois100919
Boone99746
Grant96636
Hancock94843
Noble92932
Henry82226
Jackson77610
Wayne77314
Morgan73940
Shelby68329
Daviess68129
Dearborn67928
LaGrange64711
Clinton63414
Harrison59824
Putnam59011
Gibson5455
Knox5379
Lawrence51829
Montgomery51321
DeKalb49111
White48814
Decatur46139
Miami4394
Greene42936
Fayette42314
Jasper4032
Steuben3977
Scott39311
Posey3541
Sullivan33812
Jennings31712
Franklin31525
Clay3105
Ripley3108
Orange28724
Whitley2876
Carroll28013
Adams2773
Wabash2758
Starke2737
Washington2702
Wells2694
Spencer2683
Jefferson2523
Huntington2503
Fulton2462
Tipton22922
Randolph2238
Perry22213
Jay1920
Newton17411
Owen1711
Martin1690
Pike1691
Rush1584
Vermillion1320
Fountain1302
Blackford1223
Pulaski1141
Crawford1100
Parke1072
Brown1033
Benton860
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland690
Warren411
Unassigned0227

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events