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President Donald Trump is trailed by Vice President Mike Pence as he arrives to speak to reporters at the White House about the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, March 16, 2020. Image Credit: New York Times

Washington: President Donald Trump issued new guidelines on Monday to help fight the coronavirus, including a recommendation that people avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people, discretionary travel, and going to bars, restaurants and food courts.

Trump said the new guidelines from his coronavirus task force applied for 15 days and were meant to slow the spread of the virus.

“We’ve made the decision to further toughen the guidelines and blunt the infection now,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We’d much rather be ahead of the curve than behind it,” Trump said.

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Trump said the worst of the virus could be over by July, August or later.

“With several weeks of focused action, we can turn the corner and turn it quickly,” he said.

Trump said a nationwide curfew was not under consideration at this point.

Trump said the US economy could be heading into a recession. He said the administration has talked regularly about domestic travel restrictions but hopes not to have to put such things in place.

The president has faced criticism for his handling of the pandemic after earlier playing down its seriousness in the early days of the virus’ spread.