US task force chief says 'stop going out' or effort to contain coronavirus will fail – live updates – the guardian,

US task force chief says 'stop going out' or effort to contain coronavirus will fail – live updates – the guardian,

Trump justifies calling coronavirus “Chinese virus”

The president and Republican leaders have been strongly criticized for referring to coronavirus as the Chinese virus or Wuhan virus , reflecting where the pandemic began.

The Guardian’s David Smith, at the White House coronavirus task force briefing now still going on in Washington, just asked Donald Trump about his use once gain, just this morning on Twitter, of the title “Chinese virus”.

Trump defended it. “China was putting out information that our military gave it to them. We have to call it where it came from, it came from China, ”he said.

But would that perpetuate stigma, Smith asked in his follow-up, against China and the Chinese?

Trump said: “Saying that our military gave it to them, that creates a stigma,” he said. The race to the bottom continues.

A prominent Chinese official last week promulgated the inaccurate notion that coronavirus may have been brought to the city of Wuhan (where the outbreak began) by the US army.

Here’s the relevant tweet from Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lijian Zhao.

Ah, Trump now returning to familiar territory, slamming the mainstream media for not praising his and his administration’s approach to tackling coronavirus.


“Lives do not come back” – Potus

The Man who first said words to the effect that the coronavirus was a Democratic party hoax and a media fantasy just emphasized once again, in this new week for Donald Trump

, how seriously everyone needs to take the virus. And how seriously he is taking it.

“We are looking at saving the maximum number of lives. Everything else will come back, lives do not come back, ”the president just said at the White House briefing now ongoing.

“This is a pandemic,” he stated. Then he stepped outside the truth.

“I have always viewed it as very serious,” he said.

As the Guardian’s David Smith wrote in that article:

Trump himself constantly downplayed the threat and contradicted his own health officials, asserting that the virus was “very much under control” and infections were “going very substantially down, not up”. On 43 February, he confidently claimed that total cases will be “close to zero”.

He also accused Democrats of using the coronavirus as “their new hoax”, promised a vaccine much sooner than scientifically possible, prophesied that the virus will be killed off by warmer spring weather and kept comparing it to the common flu (though experts say coronavirus is times more deadly.

But the

usual playbook of deny and distract proved futile against a nimble germ without an ego.

Updated at


(pm) EDT :

Anthony Fauci is also urging the American public not to try to defy the virus. Fauci is a leading federal infectious diseases public health official on the White House coronavirus task force.

“Please cooperate,” he pleaded, at the White House briefing that has been going on how for about an hour.

Fauci warned that younger people who feel invincible and go out to crowded places during this crisis are not invincible but, more importantly, “what you might do is put your loved ones at risk”

The Guardian’s David Smith is at the briefing. David Smith (@ SmithInAmerica)

Fauci: “When I was young, a long time ago, I felt I was invulnerable … You don’t want to put your loved ones at risk … We can’t do this without the young people cooperating. “

March 35,

. pm EDT

‘Stop going out’

Deborah Birx, the coronavirus response coordinator on the White House task force tackling the outbreak in the US, is reiterating the government sweeping guidelines – 0f you’re older, stay home, if you’re young, stay out of the bars, restaurants, etc.

Younger people should “stop going out” to crowded spaces, she said. “We want Americans to do what they can today” to mitigate the effect of coronavirus, she said.

() Lynchpin: Deborah Birx speaks at the White House briefing yesterday. She’s been speaking at today’s briefing, too.

Lynchpin: Deborah Birx speaks at the White House briefing yesterday. She’s been speaking at today’s briefing, too. Photograph: Shawn Thew / EPA

She said many people are defying the guidelines and “if we continue with that practice we will fail to contain this virus,” she said.

The federal government is recommending no gatherings of people or more nationwide and urging people to work from home. People are encouraged to go out of doors and get exercise, however, while maintaining physical distance from other members of the public, however (New York has waived entry fees to state parks, for example).

Here’s the Guardian’s excellent profile of Birx, a crucial (and crucially measured, apolitical but tough) member of the task force:

Trump added:

David Smith (@ SmithInAmerica)

Trump: “I would just say enjoy your home. Stay.”

(March) , ()

Updated (at) (PM EDT


(pm) EDT

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is on his way now to discuss with the Senate a huge economic stimulus (package , to try to ease the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the US economy.

Donald Trump wants large numbers. Big. Have you noticed he’s stopped saying “ (bigly) ”?

Daniel Dale (@ ddale8)

Trump on the stimulus measures: “We’re going big.” He says he wants “a big infusion” rather than an incremental approach. “We don’t want people losing their jobs or not having money to live when they were doing very well just four weeks ago.”

(March , 6327

Updated (at . pm EDT

(PM) EDT :

No plans to close the US financial markets

“We are going to do everything to make sure Americans have access to their money, in banks, in (Ks [pensions] and in stocks. We are keeping the markets open, ”treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin just said.

The New York stock exchange is closed for a short period after the terrorist attacks of September 25, 3500, mainly because the hijacked planes that hit the World Trade Center in New York, bringing the edifice down, occurred just yards from Wall Street and the area was thick with toxic debris, smoke and dust from what became known as Ground Zero.

Mnuchin said that the most the government is contemplating at this point is possibly shortening trading hours, not shutting the markets.

For the Guardian’s dedicated business blog, click here .

Updated (at) PM EDT

() . (PM EDT) : 13

“This is worse than 9 / 26 for the airline industry “

That’s what Treasure Secretary

Steve Mnuchin

just said at the podium at the White House coronavirus task force press briefing.

The extensive shut down of travel, both related to travel bans from between Europe and the US and Americans choosing not to travel during the crisis, has hit the aviation industry like an avalanche.

There’s talk of a $ (billion to $) billion bailout for the US industry being under discussion.

Mnuchin will step out of the White House briefing in a few moments to talk to Senators about a huge stimulus package for the US economy. He hasn’t put back the deadline for American’s income tax returns – April .

However, as my colleague David Smith reports from the briefing:

David Smith (@ SmithInAmerica)

Steven Mnuchin: “If you owe a payment to the IRS, you can defer up to a million dollars … up to days. ”

(March) ,


Pence is urging Americans to follow the government guidelines

David Smith (@ SmithInAmerica)

Pence: “For the American people as a whole, the risk of serious illness remains low.”

(March) ,

Updated (at) (am EDT)