President Donald Trump today joined members of the White House coronavirus task force to announce new national guidelines for U.S. citizens to follow over the next 15 days, including working from home, staying away from groups of 10 or more people, and avoiding discretionary travel or eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts. 

The guidelines mark the first attempt by the federal government to establish best practices for all Americans amid an avalanche of disparate state and local policies. 

Trump also joined the chorus of experts and medical professionals calling on healthy young people to avoid contact with others as well, even if they're not experiencing symptoms. 

"It's important for the young and healthy people to understand that while they may experience milder symptoms, they can easily spread this virus," he said. 

Task force member Dr. Deborah L. Birx stressed the importance of both individuals and families quarantining themselves when sick

"If you are sick, no matter who you are, please stay home," she said. "If someone in your household is diagnosed with this virus, the entire household should quarantine in the house to prevent spread of the virus to others."

She also noted that there is a large group of people who are either asymptomatic or have such mild cases that they continue to spread the virus without realizing they are infected. The exact number of people who make up this group is still unknown, she added. 

Trump acknowledged a longer timeline for the outbreak as well. He said that if the administration does "a really good job" it could still continue until the middle of the summer. 

The task force will nonetheless review the current guidelines in two weeks and update them as needed.  

When asked about the possibility of a recession, Trump said it was possible, but that he anticipated a surge in markets once the outbreak "washes through."

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that some people might see the measures as an overreaction, but they are designed to keep pace with where the outbreak is heading. 

"I say it over and over again: When you're dealing with an emerging infectious diseases outbreak, you are always behind where you think you are," he said.

Members of the task force together repeated the plea that Americans need to embrace the changes and follow them, in order to avoid the worst possible outcomes of the outbreak. 

"They will fail if people don't adhere to them," Fauci added. 

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