Donald Trump prepares the United States for "two very difficult weeks"

According to projections presented by Donald Trump and Anthony Fauci, while respecting measures to stem the spread of the virus, the toll of the Covid-19 epidemic could reach 100,000 to 240,000 dead in the coming months. TOM BRENNER / REUTERS

A week earlier, Donald Trump still imagined being able to lift for Easter, April 12, the restrictions adopted to fight against the coronavirus. On Tuesday March 31, the President of the United States, on the contrary, prepared his country for the worst. " We're going through two very difficult weeks ", He announced during his daily press conference. " It will be two very very painful weeks. I want every American to be ready for the difficult days ahead ", He insisted.

Never before has Donald Trump been so alarmist. " Our country finds itself in the middle of an unprecedented major national ordeal "He said before inviting each citizen to" make sacrifices "And each company to complete its" patriotic duty "

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Projections from Chinese and European precedents convinced the head of state, who had often denied or downplayed the threat in February and early March, to issue the warning. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Deborah Birx, coordinator of the federal government's response, presented the figures on Tuesday. The United States could register between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths from Covid-19 in the coming months.

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"Everything is based on behavior"

These estimates are by no means inevitable, however assured Deborah Birx. " We really think we can do a lot better than that She said to convince Americans to take their role in preventing the spread of the disease seriously. " There is no miracle solution ", she added, "There is no magic vaccine, no therapy. It all depends on behavior. Each of our behaviors can change the course of this pandemic. " Anthony Fauci added: "This is a number that we must anticipate, but we do not necessarily have to accept it as inevitable "

Donald Trump extended the measures presented on March 16 to limit travel and gatherings to a minimum until Sunday, April 30, while confinement decisions have so far been taken unilaterally by states. " The two weeks we spent have a clear effect "Assured Anthony Fauci while the tenant of the White House promised that the Americans will see soon" real light at the end of the tunnel " At least 3,800 deaths attributed to the virus were reported Tuesday evening.

Donald Trump also stressed the importance of actions to cut the spread of the virus. " Its a question of life or death "He said before speaking for the third time in three days, without naming him, of the fate of a person presented as relatively close, who is fighting against the disease. The references used by the President of the United States on Tuesday were particularly grim: the civil war (1861-1865) and the two world conflicts in which his country was engaged in the past.

" Very good work "

At the beginning of the health crisis, the occupant of the Oval office had often diverted criticism by attacking the management presented as catastrophic of the epidemic caused by the H1N1 virus by his democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, from his arrival in the White House in 2009. He then insisted heavily on the human toll which had amounted to just over 12,000 dead. This mention has disappeared from his words, even if he continues to blame the previous administration for the low federal stocks of medical equipment which fuel recurrent tensions with the governors of the most affected states.

Donald Trump also advanced on Tuesday the figure of 2.2 million deaths, which corresponds to the estimate of the human toll of the Covid-19 in the United States in the very unlikely hypothesis that no protective measure would have been taken . " A certain group "Of people he did not identify pleaded in this direction, he assured. He used this figure to say that a total of 100,000 dead could, by comparison, be evidence of " very good work Of his administration.

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While the epicenter of the epidemic remains the New York metropolis, Tuesday, Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci focused on the trajectories of the States most early struck: California and especially Washington State which counted one of the first centers of the epidemic. The pattern of contamination and deaths has so far been less steep than in New York State. A singularity attributed to the rapid reaction of the local authorities. Donald Trump did not mention it during a conference that stretched for more than two hours, a record, and for good reason: he keeps attacking the governor, the democrat Jay Inslee, because the latter regularly lamented the slowness of the federal state.

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