Donald Trump says US won’t renew social distancing rules and calls for 'massive rallies'

30 April 2020, 15:04

By Asher McShane

Donald Trump has announced that the federal government in the US will not be renewing its social distancing rules when they expire later today.

President Trump will visit Arizona next week followed by Ohio. The US has the highest total number of coronavirus deaths of anywhere in the world.

President Trump also said that he hopes to hold mass rallies in the not too distant future with no social distancing because people sitting far apart is “not a good look.”

The US has reported more than 60,000 deaths from Covid-19 and over one million cases.

President Trump in the Oval Office with Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards
President Trump in the Oval Office with Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards. Picture: Getty

"We're heartened that the worst of the pain and suffering is going to be behind us," he said today.

"I don't want people to get used to this," Mr Trump told reporters. "I see the new normal being what it was three months ago."

He announced that he plans to resume out-of-state travel after spending more than a month mostly cooped up in the White House.

“We're going to start to move around and hopefully in the not too distant future, we'll have some massive rallies and people will be sitting next to each other," he said, adding that having people spaced out in accordance with social distancing guidelines "wouldn't look too good".

The president said he will not be extending the White House's guidelines when they expire on Thursday.

Those guidelines, dubbed “30 Days to Slow the Spread" were originally supposed to last 15 days and were then extended an additional 30.

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They encouraged Americans to work from home and avoid restaurants, group gatherings and discretionary travel and advised older Americans and those with serious underlying health conditions to isolate themselves.

"They'll be fading out because now the governors are doing it," Mr Trump told reporters at a meeting with executives from companies like Hilton and Toyota.

The White House also said it was hopeful around the prospect of an experimental ebola drug, Remdesivir, which proved effective against the virus in a major new study.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, said the drug reduced the time it takes patients to recover by 31% - 11 days on average versus 15 days for those just given usual care

"It's highly significant," Dr Fauci said.

"What it has proven is that a drug can block this virus."