Trump extends federal social distancing guidelines until April 30

President Trump’s suggestion that the federal social distancing guidelines might be lifted on Easter, April 12, was aspirational. This was clear from the beginning. Trump never said the guidelines would be lifted then. The anti-Trump media made more of Trump’s optimistic suggestion than was warranted.

Now, we know that the guidelines will stay in place until at least April 30. Trump declared that “nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won.”

I’m not sure what “victory” means in this context. What numbers of new cases and new deaths would constitute victory?

Whatever the answers, it’s clear that we’re nowhere near “victory” now, and very likely won’t be until the end of April at the earliest. With both the number of new reported Wuhan coronavirus cases and the daily death count from the virus increasing almost every day, and rapidly on some days, Trump’s decision seems like the right call to me.

Decisions on exactly what must be closed or kept closed are state governors’ to make. Their decisions should be driven by conditions in their states. But viewing the situation in the U.S. as a whole, it’s easy to see why Trump made the decision he did.