President Donald Trump stated on Wednesday that the White House will not be extending the federal "30 Days to Slow the Spread" social distancing guidelines that are set to expire on Thursday. Trump instead plans to move the country towards reopening, stating that he plans to resume his official travel schedule by flying to Arizona next week and Ohio soon after. Trump is also hoping to hold mass campaign rallies in the coming months.
Trump's updated stance on the coronavirus pandemic comes as the United States just crossed over 60,000 deaths on Wednesday, with more expected to follow. Currently, 13 states have begun some type of reopening measures while several have plans in place for May.
As the country moves to reopen, Trump's adviser Jared Kushner has already judged the administration's response to a pandemic that is far from over, telling "Fox & Friends" on Wednesday that, "The federal government rose to the challenge, and this is a great success story. And I think that that's really, you know, what needs to be told."
Admiral Dr. Brett Girior, assistant secretary of health and in charge of the governments coronavirus testing response, told TIME in an interview that, "There is absolutely no way on Earth, on this planter or any other planet, that [the United States] can do 20 million tests a day, or even 5 million tests a day," contradicting Trump's statement on Tuesday that the nation will be able to reach that level of testing very soon.
Girior was responding to a recent Harvard University study that concluded that the United States would need to increase testing capacity to at least 5 million tests per dat by June and 20 million by late July to safely track the virus in an economic reopening. Girior stated that these numbers were an "unreasonable benchmark" and were not needed based on the government's current modeling.
Total Global Cases: Over 3.4 Million
Total Deaths: At Least 230,000
Total Recovered: At Least 1.07 Million
Early results of a major study conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the Gilead Sciences's
"The data shows that remdesivir has a clear cut, significant, positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery," Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the institute, stated during a meeting between President Trump and Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. "This is highly significant." Fauci noted that the results of the study have yet to be peer reviewed.
In response, Trump urged the Food and Drug Administration to approve the drug's use for treatment of COVID patients as quickly as possible. "We would like to see very quick approval, especially with things that work," the president stated during a roundtable at the While House with business executives on Wednesday.