President Trump told Americans on Sunday that “there's no need to hoard” supplies, amid concerns of potential food or supply shortages as more states and cities announced restrictions to contain the coronavirus.
The president said during a White House briefing after speaking with heads of food suppliers: “You don’t have to buy so much, take it easy, just relax.”
Trump added: “We’re doing great, it all will pass.”
Trump assured Americans that grocers would remain open and that the supply chain remained healthy. Vice President Mike Pence urged Americans to buy only the groceries they needed for the week ahead.
The Federal Reserve took emergency action Sunday to help the economy withstand the coronavirus by slashing its benchmark interest rate to near zero and saying it would buy $700 billion in Treasury and mortgage bonds. The Fed’s surprise announcement signaled its concern that the viral outbreak will depress economic growth in the coming months and that it is prepared to do whatever it can counter the risks.
The president saluted the move.
"It's a big step, I am very happy they did it," said Trump during the press conference. "It brings us in line with other countries," he said, referring the Fed cutting rates to near zero in a historic move in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
"There are a lot of people on Wall Street that are very happy," Trump noted, adding that he would ease up on his criticism of the Fed and Chairman Jerome Powell.
The virus has an incubation period of anywhere from two days to 14 days before symptoms emerge. The death toll in the United States is more than 50.
The number of coronavirus cases in the United States is now more than 3,100 across 49 states on Sunday, The New York Times reported.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The worldwide outbreak has sickened more than 156,000 people and left more than 5,800 dead.
The vast majority of people recover. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three weeks to six weeks to recover.
The surge of coronavirus cases throughout the United States and around the globe has brought the world to a practical standstill.
Life in the United States has dramatically changed in just a week.
From work to entertainment to even worship, several aspects of American life have been reordered as health officials encourage the public to carry out "social distancing" to prevent the spread of the infection.
Trump has suggested that restrictions on travel within the U.S. to areas hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic could be next.
On Sunday afternoon, New York City announced that its public school system, the largest of its kind in the nation, would close for the time being.
Travelers returning to the U.S. after the Trump administration imposed a wide-ranging ban on people entering from Europe faced waiting times lasting hours for medical screenings. Images on social media showed packed arrival halls and winding lines.