President Donald Trump, who had said he hoped to see the country re-open parts of the economy shuttered by coronavirus by Easter, has reversed course and announced that "slow the spread" guidelines will be extended through the end of April.
The Trump administration's initial 15-day social distancing period ends tomorrow, and he has previously said that he wanted to jump-start the economy ASAP - at the very least in certain parts of the country that have not been hard-hit by the virus.
But now he's acknowledging that was overly optimistic, and another period of aggressive effort to try to slow the transmission of the virus is necessary, particularly as the number of confirmed cases continues to grow - especially in New York City, the center of the pandemic in the U.S.
Meanwhile, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, said the U.S. could experience more than 100,000 deaths - perhaps even 200,000 - and millions of infections from the pandemic. He also called the extension of the guidelines a "wise and prudent decision."
The federal guidelines recommend against large group gatherings and call on older people and anyone with existing health problems to stay home. People should work from home when possible and avoid restaurants, bars, non-essential travel and shopping trips.