S'pore took Trump's Covid-19 guidelines leading to 'very few' infections, US health official says

She said it will be 'in everybody's best interest' to do as Trump recommended.

Kayla Wong | March 25, 2020, 07:43 PM

Singapore took United States President Donald Trump's guidelines on tackling the Covid-19 outbreak, U.S. health official Deborah Birx said.

Singapore implemented Trump's guidelines quickly as China's next door

Speaking at a virtual town hall hosted by Fox News on Tuesday, March 24 (Singapore time Wednesday, March 25), the White House Covid-19 response coordinator said Singapore executed Trump's guidelines on the public health crisis "very early because they could see China next door".

She was responding to a question from Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer about a headline suggesting a possible second wave in Singapore.

She continued saying as "so few people have been infected" in Singapore, the country does not have "herd immunity".

Birx added that it will be "in everybody's best interest" to do as Trump recommended, such as working on additional vaccines and therapeutics.

Trump's coronavirus guidelines

Trump's "Coronavirus Guidelines for America", issued on March 16, include advice such as staying home should one feel sick, and avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.

Image via Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

Image via Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

Contradicting his own guidelines

During his appearance, Trump had said he would love to have businesses open by Easter, which is going to be on April 12.

Although social distancing was recommended in his guidelines, he had insisted that the measure be relaxed, and that people should go back to work.

He said at a news conference on Monday, March 23, that "America will again -- and soon -- be open for business."

This is in spite of public health experts warning that ending social distancing prematurely would lead to a spike in Covid-19 cases, which might in turn burden health facilities.

Downplaying the Covid-19 outbreak

Attempting to downplay the virus, he had also compared the situation to other relatively more common misfortunes such as the flu or car accidents.

He said in his first public comments on the virus on Jan. 22 that he was not worried at all, and later dismissed alarm raised over the viral outbreak as a "new hoax" by the Democrats.

Trump has been widely criticised for his unprepared approach to the Covid-19 outbreak, such as being slow to respond to the growing shortage of medical supplies and testing kits.

He had blamed the former Obama administration for the lack of testing kits, and said on March 13 that he does not take responsibility for the testing debacle.

Top image via Fox News