WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that the federal government will not be extending it’s social distancing guidelines once they expire, Thursday. The general feeling in the White House is positive and they regard the work done across the entire country to have been exemplary.

The administration will also be opening out-of-state travel with President Trump’s trip to Arizona scheduled for next week. In addition, he expects to hold massive campaign rallies with thousands of supporters despite concerns that a vaccine will not be available by that time. 

Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, and advisor, has stated the country should be “really rocking again” by July. He also considers the federal government’s response to have been a “great success.”

This doesn’t come without a considerable amount of scrutiny from health experts who feel social distancing should be the new norm until more data and potentially a cure is found. This pandemic has left a deep scar in the fabric of the entire world in so many different respects. The United States alone has already experienced more deaths from COVID-19 than the entire Vietnam War. 

The Economy

The United States economy has contracted at a 4.8% annual rate in the first quarter of 2020. Major economists consider this to be the beginning of a larger retraction as we approach the summer months.  The COVID-19 curve may be flattening, but the economy will experience its own painful recovery that will last months after everything normalizes.

This White House is attempting to pivot its focus towards opening the nation’s economy state-by-state. Many experts have warned this is a very serious risk because we lack sufficient testing. 

“With or without” a vaccine were the words President Trump used to describe his goals for the coming months. In his vision, there will be stadiums and restaurants full of patrons free from social distancing and masks.

However, this vision comes with very strong criticism from health experts. Many feel the “new normal” includes extended social distancing and face masks in public. 

“I don’t want people to get used to this,” Trump said in a statement. “I see the new normal being what it was three months ago.”

Most states still support social distancing, staying indoors, and wearing masks when out. Both the federal government and the states still agree that residents should continue to avoid mass gatherings and stay at home as much as possible.

This announcement came when the White House issued the statement that it will not be extending the “30 Days to Slow the Spread” guidelines set to expire on Thursday. The logic behind this move is to allow state governments to mitigate their own risk based on their current statistical data.

The White House also commented on an experimental drug, Remdesivir, which has shown to have very effective results in a major new study. Results show the drug reduces a patient’s recovery time by 31%- on average, people using the drug recovered in 11 days versus 15 days with just regular care. Dr. Fauci, the Nation’s top infectious disease expert, claims these results are significantly good because they’re also finding the drug has proven to block the virus.

This administration is clearly eager to give the country some type of good news. Working to rebuild the economy is a crucial step in achieving normalcy once again. Many Americans who share this sentiment are excited to return to their previous lives and jobs. 

The United States has now recorded over 58,000 deaths due to COVID-19 with over 1 million people testing positive for the virus. The rise in the number of people infected should be attributed to an increased amount of testing as the last few weeks have had a significant ramp-up. 

However, many experts still believe we should be doing more testing (about 5 million per day) in order to truly understand the scope of this virus and the numbers associated with it. Dr. Birx has previously said the only way to fully understand this virus is to study a broad sample of cases. 

We have to wait and see the effects of reopening. As Americans return to work, we run a major risk of people who previously had no exposure to the virus becoming infected. We also face reinfection as there is very inconclusive data on the potential of getting sick again. 

Gradually working towards normalcy will allow our hospitals and healthcare professionals to handle individuals who are heavily affected by the virus. What we’re trying to avoid is a reversal to the recovery. Right now there’s a lot of speculation but no clear data to suggest a reversal is probable. 

The federal 30-day social distancing guidelines expire Thursday.

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