Trump Sounds New, Grim Tone in Somber Coronavirus Warning

President Donald Trump on Monday seemed to bow to reality when he said his administration expected the 2019 novel coronavirus to persist within the U.S through the summer months, and even conceded the economy “may be” headed toward recession.

But he did not concede that his administration should be doing more. When asked, Trump said he rated his response to the virus as a 10 out of 10.

“It’s incredible what has happened in such a short period of time. It’s all over the world,” Trump said during a press conference Monday afternoon. “People are talking about July, August, something like that… Could be longer than that.”

At the beginning of the presser, Trump struck a markedly different tone than he and some other Republican officials had previously, urging Americans to refrain from gathering in groups larger than ten people and that young individuals ramp up their social-distancing practices. He also recommended that people homeschool when possible.  

“It’s important for the young and healthy to understand… they can easily spread this virus and they will spread it indeed, putting countless others in harms way,” Trump said. 

Trump’s recommendations come after the Centers for Disease Control on Sunday night issued guidance for Americans, asking them to refrain from attending gatherings from 50-100 people. By Monday morning, governors in several states including New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut said they would close gyms, restaurants, and bars to prevent community spread. 

Trump called on Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York to “do more,” saying that the region near New Rochelle, which is currently under quarantine, could be “tamped down even more.”

“It’s bad, it’s bad,” Trump said when asked about what he was telling his own family about the virus. “But hopefully we’re going to be a best case scenario, not the worst case.”