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Despite warnings from medical experts on the potential dangers involved, it seems that President Donald Trump is bent on easing up coronavirus restriction by Easter. In a letter to state governors, Trump said that the government is drafting new coronavirus guidelines based on risk levels.
Counties will now be labeled as “high-risk, medium-risk, or low-risk,” according to Business Insider. “This is what we envision: Our expanded testing capacities will quickly enable us to publish criteria, developed in close coordination with the Nation's public health officials and scientists, to help classify counties with respect to continued risks posed by the virus,” Donald Trump said on the letter sent on Thursday.
The POTUS explained that the plan will rely on “robust surveillance testing” so the government can monitor the coronavirus’ spread. “Under these data-driven criteria, we will suggest guidelines categorizing counties as high-risk, medium-risk, or low-risk,” Trump added.
Trump said that the new guidelines are aimed for use by local authorities so they’ll know whether to increase or ease current restrictions. “In furtherance of this shared goal, my Administration is working to publish new guidelines for State and local policymakers to use in making decisions about maintaining, increasing, or relaxing social distancing and other mitigation measures they have put in place,” Trump wrote, according to Vox.
Trump’s letter came at a time when coronavirus cases surged in the United States. Based on data from Worldometers, the U.S. is now the No. 1 country with the highest number of coronavirus infections surpassing even China and Italy. As of March 26, 2016, there are 85,435 COVID-19 cases in the U.S. compare to 81,285 cases in China and 80,589 cases in Italy.
Despite the worsening coronavirus situation in the country, the POTUS still wants to open the country for business. “We all have to get smart,” Trump said. “We have to open up our country, I'm sorry.”
But health experts fear the worst will happen if Trump’s plan pushes through. “It’s a nightmare scenario for epidemiologists and health care workers,” infectious diseases expert Tara Smith said. “Imagine the mixing of populations that would happen at Easter if given the ‘all clear’ — people who may be carrying the virus without knowing it, hugging their loved ones, spending hours in close contact, and then everyone going back home afterward.”