Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

The next 2 weeks are going to be 'tough' and 'painful,' Trump warns

President Trump on Tuesday said he wants "every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead," as the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread across the United States.

Trump's tone has shifted dramatically from earlier this month, when he said the United States would be back open for business by Easter on April 12. During the evening press conference, Trump said the next two weeks will be "painful" and "very tough," and called the pandemic a "great national trial unlike anything we have ever faced before."

Health officials also presented slides showing epidemiological models and how social distancing measures can help slow the spread of coronavirus. In a worst case scenario, even if guidelines are followed, up to 240,000 Americans could still die. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that it's important to "brace ourselves," but noted that officials are "continuing to see things go up. We cannot be discouraged by that because the mitigation is actually working and will work." Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, reminded Americans to follow government guidelines and not gather in groups of 10 or more, avoid unnecessary travel, and stay away from restaurants and bars. 

As of Tuesday night, there are 183,532 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States, and at least 3,727 people have died from the virus.