01 May 2020 Posted By : JOANNE KENEN

End of Trump’s social distancing policy spurs fears of virus rebound

The Trump administration’s “Stay at Home” guidelines will quietly expire Thursday with little fanfare — letting states decide what’s next.

But as President Donald Trump repeatedly declares that “we’re opening our country again,” the inconsistent patchwork of state, local and business decision-making is exactly what could drive a second wave of the coronavirus — or potentially prolong the current outbreak.

Instead of the national campaign to get people to stay home, the White House is leaving states with a set of CDC recommendations. They aren’t binding, and they aren’t all specific. That could lead to unexpected spikes across the country — sometimes in new places that didn’t see a bad outbreak, but also in cities that were recovering, only to suffer a setback.

“It’s going to take a long time for us to really wrestle this one down,” said Anne Schuchat, the deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a brief online conversation with a medical journal Wednesday. “The extent to which this [disease] is challenging, it’s hard to overstate.”

The U.S. death toll is still rising, often by 1,500 to 2,000 a day. It passed 60,000 on Wednesday, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, a number that Trump had until recently predicted the country would not exceed.

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