WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday will release “flexible” guidelines backed by medical experts on his coronavirus task force to help states as they move toward reopening the nation’s economy, a senior White House official said.
“The president’s new guidelines are in fact that. They are recommendations. They are flexible. They are data-driven,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Trump is to unveil the new guidelines at a 6 p.m. EDT (2200 GMT) White House briefing as he seeks to get the U.S. economy going again after social-distancing measures meant to slow the spread of the virus shut down large portions of the economy, throwing millions of Americans out of work.
More than 20 million people have filed for unemployment in the United States in the past month.
“We’ll be talking about guidelines that have been very carefully done,” Trump said at a White House event honoring the nation’s truckers.
He said he planned to preview the recommendations during a video conference call with state governors on Thursday afternoon.
“I think they’ll be very happy with what we’re doing,” Trump said. “They want to win this war, and we’re going to win it.”
On Wednesday, Trump said some states with low numbers of infections will be ready to resume economic activity sooner than other states hard hit by the highly contagious virus.
“They are layered,” the official said of Trump’s new recommendations. “They are signed off on and in full agreement by the medical experts on the task force.”
“This is going to speak to every governor and in every situation and it is their choice as to what to do with these guidelines and recommendations. It will be a set of recommendations that every governor will be able to look to as a guide,” the official said.
Reporting by Steve Holland and Jeff Mason; Writing by Steve Holland and Tim Ahmann; Editing by Heather Timmons, Alistair Bell and Jonathan Oatis
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