Trump urges U.S. to halt most social activity in virus fight, warns of recession
UNTV News • March 17, 2020 • 527
President Donald Trump urged Americans on Monday (March 16) to halt most social activities for 15 days and not congregate in groups larger than 10 people in a newly aggressive effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus in the United States.
Announcing new guidelines from his coronavirus task force, the president said people should avoid discretionary travel and not go to bars, restaurants, food courts or gyms.
As stocks tumbled, Trump warned that a recession was possible, a development that could affect his chances of re-election in November. The Republican president said he was focused on addressing the health crisis and that the economy would get better once that was in line.
The task force implored young people to follow the new guidelines even though they were at lesser risk of suffering if they contract the virus. Older people, especially those with underlying health problems, are at the greatest risk if they develop the respiratory disease.
Reporters staggered their seating, sitting in every other seat in the White House briefing room, to follow social distancing measures.
Trump said the worst of the virus could be over by July, August or later. He called it an invisible enemy.
The president has taken criticism for playing down the seriousness of the virus in the early days of its U.S. spread. On Monday, when asked, he gave himself a good grade for his response.
“I’d rate it a 10. I think we’ve done a great job,” he said.
Trump said a nationwide curfew was not under consideration at this point.
Normally a cheerleader for the U.S. economy, he acknowledged the possibility of a recession while brushing off another dramatic decline on stock markets as investors worried about the virus.
“We’re not thinking in terms of recession, we’re thinking in terms of the virus. Once we stop, I think there’s a tremendous pent up demand, both in terms of the stock market and in terms of the economy,” Trump said. The president has long considered soaring stock markets to be a sign of his administration’s success.
Trump said the administration had talked regularly about domestic travel restrictions but hoped not to have to put such measures in place.
He said he thought it would still be possible for G7 leaders to meet at the Camp David retreat in Maryland in June. Trump upset European countries, which make up a large part of the G7, by instituting travel restrictions from European countries without consulting with them first. (Reuters)
Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. simply known as Joe Biden took his oath of office as the 46th president of the United States of America (USA) on a sunny day on Wednesday (January 20) at the Capitol Building in a ceremony that broke tradition.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden discouraged his supporters from attending the ceremony and opted to be with the company of thousands of National Guards to keep the peace and order following an assault on the Capitol Building on January 6.
For the first time since John Quincy in 1869, the outgoing commander-in-chief Donald Trump snubbed the ceremony as he still refused to accept his election defeat.
After Trump’s tumultuous four years, Biden implied that finally, democracy has been restored in the US.
“America has been tested anew, and America has risen to the challenge.” he said.
“We’ve learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile. And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed,” he added.
Biden did not mention his predecessor but referred to the incident at the Capitol perpetrated by Trump supporters two weeks ago. Biden said he will not let any attempt “to stop the work of our democracy” to triumph.
Moving forward, the new US president called for unity among Americans in facing the challenges ahead, especially the impact of the current pandemic which he called “dark winter”.
“In the work ahead of us, we’re going to need each other. We need all our strength to persevere through this dark winter,” Biden said.
“We’re entering what may be the toughest and deadliest period of the virus. We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation,” he added.
Biden promised to be a president for all Americans saying “every disagreement doesn’t have to be a cause for total war.”
“To all those who did not support us, let me say this: Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart. If you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy. That’s America. The right to dissent peaceably within the guardrails of our republic is perhaps our nation’s greatest strength,” he said addressing his critics.
“Yet hear me clearly, disagreement must not lead to disunion. And I pledge this to you, I will be a president for all Americans. All Americans,” he vowed, calling for a stop on the war of colors referring to the conflicts between the Democrats and the Republicans.
Towards the end of his speech, President Biden called on US citizens to be more open and keep the value of humility as a new administration begins under his command.
“We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts. If we show a little tolerance and humility… because here’s this thing about life: There’s no accounting for what fate will deal you,” he said.
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said he is “looking forward to closely working” with Joseph Biden as he congratulated the latter for winning the United States presidential elections.
“On behalf of the Filipino nation, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte wishes to extend his warm congratulations to former Vice President Joseph “Joe” Biden on his election as the new President of the United States of America,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
“We look forward to working closely with the new administration of President-elect Biden anchored on mutual respect, mutual benefit, and shared commitment to democracy, freedom and the rule of law,” he added.
Roque also said that the Philippines is committed to further strengthening its ties with the US under Biden’s administration.
“The Philippines and the United States have long-standing bilateral relations and we are committed to further enhancing the relations with the United States under the Biden administration,” he said.
“Congratulations and we wish him all the best,” he added.
Democrat Biden became the 46th President of the United States after he defeated Republican Donald Trump, according to US media on Sunday.
Former Vice President Joe Biden of the Democratic party has won Pennsylvania, surpassing the needed 270 electoral votes to take the White House and become the 46th president of the United States.
Biden on Saturday’s election results released the following statement as president-elect:
“I am honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice President-elect Harris. In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America. With the campaign over, it’s time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation. It’s time for America to unite. And to heal. We are the United States of America. And there’s nothing we can’t do, if we do it together.”
As reported by the Associated Press (AP), Biden also won Arizona, Wisconsin and Michigan as he heads to the presidency, “flipping states that President Donald Trump won in 2016.”
Trump needed the Pennsylvania win to stay in power.
Biden’s win came after days of uncertainty as the processing of some ballots was delayed when election officials sorted through a surge of mail-in votes.
Trump is the first incumbent president to lose reelection since Republican George H.W. Bush in 1992, the AP said.
The 77-year-old Biden was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and sought to contrast his working-class roots with the affluent Trump’s by casting the race as “Scranton versus Park Avenue.” —/mbmf
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