President Trump on Flattening The Curve: ‘We’re Getting Closer’

04 09 20 Natl Coronavirus Vo.transfer.transfer.transfer

The number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the U.S. continues to climb, but federal health officials say social distancing is slowing the spread.

Wednesday was the deadliest day yet in the U.S. battle against COVID-19.

Nearly 2,000 people died, bringing the total number of deaths to more than 14,000.

New York remains the hardest-hit state. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo says state and federal social distancing guidelines appear to be cutting down on the number of new hospitalizations.

During his daily briefing Wednesday, President Trump once again struck an optimistic tone and discussed plans to re-open the economy next month.

“We’re getting closer, you see the numbers, we’re getting much closer to getting our country back to the way it was,” he said. “We can do it in phases, go to some areas where, you know, some areas are much less affected than others.”

The White House coronavirus task force is now forecasting 20,000 fewer deaths than previous models indicated—thanks to social distancing measures.

The World Health Organization is responding to criticism from the Trump administration.

Earlier this week, President Trump accused the organization of not sounding the alarm on the initial outbreak in China quickly enough.

He also threatened to freeze its funding.

Wednesday, the WHO Director-Genral Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus fired back.

“Please don’t politicize this virus. If you don’t want many more body bags, then you refrain from politicizing it. My short message is: Please quarantine politicizing COVID(-19),” he said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke up, saying now is not the time for arguing but rather for focusing on defeating the virus and keeping Americans safe.

Congress and the White House are negotiating additional funding for a popular loan program to help small businesses suffering from the coronavirus pandemic.

Vice President Mike Pence held separate conference calls Wednesday with House Republicans and Democrats to discuss the federal coronavirus response.

The administration is looking for congressional approval of an additional $250 billion for its small business loan program.

Congressional Democrats are also calling for an extra $250 billion on top of the small business loans request.

That money would be for health care centers and state and local governments as well as an increase to food assistance.