President Trump warned on Tuesday that the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. would likely take a turn for the worse before the situation improves.
“It will probably, unfortunately, get worse before it gets better — something I don’t like saying about things but that’s the way it is,” Trump said at a White House coronavirus press conference, the first such briefing in several weeks.
The president noted that states in the South and West of the U.S. are experiencing a rise in coronavirus cases, with the average age of patients trending younger than in the beginning of the pandemic.
“We are imploring young Americans to avoid packed bars and other crowded indoor gatherings. Be safe and be smart,” Trump said, and called for all Americans to wear masks when possible. “Whether you like the mask or not, they have an impact and we need everything we can get.”
While Trump said he believed the economy would pick up again in the third and fourth quarters, various businesses remain closed across the country because of closures to prevent coronavirus spread. Republicans and Democrats in Congress are currently haggling over a possible new round of economic aid to Americans.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) on Tuesday came out in favor of another round of stimulus payments sent directly to Americans.
“Speaking of building on what worked in the CARES Act, we want another round of direct payments, direct payments to help American families keep driving our national comeback,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “With a majority of businesses expected to exhaust their initial paycheck protection funding this summer, we’ll also be proposing a targeted second round of [Paycheck Protection Program], with a special eye toward hard-hit businesses.”