Coronavirus News USA

Coronavirus live news and updates: Cases top 2 million globally

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on Thursday, April 16, in Washington. Alex Brandon/AP

President Trump said certain states that are not battling a coronavirus outbreak could open for business as soon as Friday if they meet the criteria laid out by the White House today.

“If you look at Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota – that’s a lot different than New York, it’s a lot different than New Jersey,” Trump said at the coronavirus task force briefing.

The President said the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention social distancing guidelines should remain in place unless a governor determines it has gone 14 days with a low-enough number of cases to satisfy the new reopening guidelines.

“They’ll be in place, dependent on what the governor wants to do,” he said.

Trump said states could open tomorrow if they retroactively determine they’ve hit the two-week mark, allowing them to move onto the next “phase” of the new guidelines.

“They will be able to go literally tomorrow because they’ve met all of the guidelines,” he said.

Trump noted that if a governor acted too quickly to open its businesses and allow mass gatherings, the administration would be “expressing ourselves very strongly.”

“We have large sections of the country right now that can start thinking about opening,” he said.

The President noted that he asked officials today in meetings why the recommendations included that people wear masks in public, even in an area that has not seen many Covid-19 cases, when things return to a version of normal. He said he was told that is to protect locals “if someone should come in from an area that isn’t so successful” in mitigating the spread of the virus.

Trump said 29 states are “in that ballgame” of being able to consider reopening in the days ahead.

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