DONALD Trump has called on Americans to use scarves as face masks as the US battles coronavirus which the President branded a “plague”.
In yesterday's White House briefing, the Republican warned of a “very painful” two weeks ahead as the country braces for the “peak” of the outbreak.
At the same press briefing, doctors said that up to 240,000 Americans could die from COVID-19 in the coming weeks.
Mr Trump said people could wear scarves around their faces instead of face masks, which are being prioritized for hospitals, in a bid to fight the “invisible enemy”.
He said: “You can use a scarf. A lot of people have scarves… scarves would be very good.
"My feeling is if people want to do it, there's certainly no harm to it.
You can use a scarf. A lot of people have scarves… scarves would be very good
"Use a scarf if you want, rather than going out and getting a mask. We're making millions and millions of masks but we want them to go to the hospitals.
"We don't want everybody competing with the hospitals who really need them."
The President also said his government were holding back 10,000 ventilators ahead of an expected "surge" in coronavirus patients.
'VERY PAINFUL TWO WEEKS'
At the briefing, White House doctors used graphs to show the projected number of cases and deaths expected in the coming weeks.
And the data shows that without lockdown measures which most states have implemented there could have been 2.2 million deaths in the US rather than the projected 100,000 to 240,000.
This comes less than a week after Trump said he wanted the country's economy up and running again by Easter.
However, with an election coming in November, the President has changed tact and is urging people to follow the lockdown guidelines.
He said: “It's absolutely critical for the American people to follow the guidelines for the next 30 days.
"It's a matter of life and death, frankly.
"I want every American to be prepared for the tough days ahead. It's going to be a very, very painful two weeks."
The US mortality rate is expected to increase within the next two weeks, with health experts predicting 2,214 more deaths by April 15.
Trump praised the efforts of medical professionals and other essential workers fighting the epidemic on the frontlines, saying they're "like military people going into battle, going into war."
White House doctor Anthony Fauci echoed the bleak prediction, telling Americans to prepare for at least 100,000 deaths during the pandemic, which has killed more than 3,800 in the US.
"We're gonna continue to see things go up," Fauci said.
"Is it going to be that much, I hope not, and I think the more we push on mitigation it won't be that number."
Health experts aim to lower the number of cases over the next month as part of the Trump administration's plan to stop the spread in 30 days.
Both Dr Deborah Birx and Fauci stressed the importance of Americans following mitigation guidelines put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.
But without consistent continuation over the next 30 days "anything can change", Birx warned.
Source: Read Full Article