Trump Extends Coronavirus Social Distancing Guidelines Till April 30
Trump had originally signaled a desire to return to business as usual by Easter Sunday — April 12—even as the U.S. became the new global epicenter of the outbreak, but reversed course Sunday during the White House coronavirus task force press briefing.
"Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won," Trump said, as The Guardian reported. "That would be the greatest loss of all. Therefore the next two weeks, and during this period it's very important that everyone follow the guidelines. The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end."
The peak of this virus' death rate is likely to hit in two weeks. We MUST stay the course and keep following the… https://t.co/dmPamju197— The White House (@The White House)1585524305.0
The extended measures advise Americans to avoid non-essential travel, going to work, restaurants or bars and gathering in groups of 10 or more, according to The New York Times. They were set to expire Monday after a two-week period but will now continue at least until the end of April.
Trump's reversal comes two days after a group of more than 800,000 doctors wrote a letter to the president urging him not to relax social distancing guidelines by Easter. It also comes based on the advice of his own top health experts: Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force.
"Dr. Birx and I spent a considerable amount of time going over all the data, why we felt this was a best choice for us, and the president accepted it," Fauci told The New York Times.
Fauci and Birx's advice was based on models showing that, even with social distancing, as many as 200,000 Americans could die of COVID-19 and millions could become infected, NPR reported. Without social distancing, around 2.2 million Americans could die.
"The idea that we may have these many cases played a role in our decision in trying to make sure that we don't do something prematurely and pull back when we should be pushing," Fauci told The New York Times.
Trump's reversal breaks with past precedent. He has downplayed his own agencies' warnings over the course of the coronavirus outbreak and has contradicted his own scientists in the past, especially on the issue of the climate crisis. He dismissed his government's own National Climate Assessment with the words, "I don't believe it."
When asked about his earlier Easter goal, Trump refused to say it was a mistake.
"It was just an aspiration," Trump said, according to NPR.
Trump on Sunday shifted his hopes for recovery till early June.
"We can expect that by June 1st, we will be well on our way to recovery, we think by June 1st. A lot of great things will be happening," he said, according to CNN.
According to Monday morning figures from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, there have been 724,945 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the world and 143,055 in the U.S. Worldwide, more than 34,000 have died. The U.S. death toll doubled over the weekend from slightly more than 1,000 on Thursday to 2,114 on Saturday, The Independent reported.
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By Katherine Kornei
Clear-cutting a forest is relatively easy—just pick a tree and start chopping. But there are benefits to more sophisticated forest management. One technique—which involves repeatedly harvesting smaller trees every 30 or so years but leaving an upper story of larger trees for longer periods (60, 90, or 120 years)—ensures a steady supply of both firewood and construction timber.
A Pattern in the Rings<p>The <a href="https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coppice-standards-0" target="_blank">coppice-with-standards</a> management practice produces a two-story forest, said <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bernhard_Muigg" target="_blank">Bernhard Muigg</a>, a dendrochronologist at the University of Freiburg in Germany. "You have an upper story of single trees that are allowed to grow for several understory generations."</p><p>That arrangement imprints a characteristic tree ring pattern in a forest's upper story trees (the "standards"): thick rings indicative of heavy growth, which show up at regular intervals as the surrounding smaller trees are cut down. "The trees are growing faster," said Muigg. "You can really see it with your naked eye."</p><p>Muigg and his collaborators characterized that <a href="https://ltrr.arizona.edu/about/treerings" target="_blank">dendrochronological pattern</a> in 161 oak trees growing in central Germany, one of the few remaining sites in Europe with actively managed coppice-with-standards forests. They found up to nine cycles of heavy growth in the trees, the oldest of which was planted in 1761. The researchers then turned to a historical data set — more than 2,000 oak <a href="https://eos.org/articles/podcast-discovering-europes-history-through-its-timbers" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">timbers from buildings and archaeological sites</a> in Germany and France dating from between 300 and 2015 — to look for a similar pattern.</p>
A Gap of 500 Years<p>The team found wood with the characteristic coppice-with-standards tree ring pattern dating to as early as the 6th century. That was a surprise, Muigg and his colleagues concluded, because the first mention of this forest management practice in historical documents occurred only roughly 500 years later, in the 13th century.</p><p>It's probable that forest management practices were not well documented prior to the High Middle Ages (1000–1250), the researchers suggested. "Forests are mainly mentioned in the context of royal hunting interests or donations," said Muigg. Dendrochronological studies are particularly important because they can reveal information not captured by a sparse historical record, he added.</p><p>These results were <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-78933-8" target="_blank">published in December in <em>Scientific Reports</em></a>.</p><p>"It's nice to see the longevity and the history of coppice-with-standards," said <a href="https://www.teagasc.ie/contact/staff-directory/s/ian-short/" target="_blank">Ian Short</a>, a forestry researcher at Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland, not involved in the research. This technique is valuable because it promotes conservation and habitat biodiversity, Short said. "In the next 10 or 20 years, I think we'll see more coppice-with-standards coming back into production."</p><p>In the future, Muigg and his collaborators hope to analyze a larger sample of historic timbers to trace how the coppice-with-standards practice spread throughout Europe. It will be interesting to understand where this technique originated and how it propagated, said Muigg, and there are plenty of old pieces of wood waiting to be analyzed. "There [are] tons of dendrochronological data."</p><p><em><a href="mailto:email@example.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Katherine Kornei</a> is a freelance science journalist covering Earth and space science. Her bylines frequently appear in Eos, Science, and The New York Times. Katherine holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.</em></p><p><em>This story originally appeared in <a href="https://eos.org/articles/tree-rings-reveal-how-ancient-forests-were-managed" target="_blank">Eos</a></em> <em>and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.</em></p>
Earth's ice is melting 57 percent faster than in the 1990s and the world has lost more than 28 trillion tons of ice since 1994, research published Monday in The Cryosphere shows.
By Jewel Fraser
Noreen Nunez lives in a middle-class neighborhood that rises up a hillside in Trinidad's Tunapuna-Piarco region.