'Not just for our sake - for theirs': Barack Obama urges people to practice social distancing

‘Not just for our sake – for theirs’: Barack Obama urges people to practice social distancing

Former US president Barack Obama has urged his Twitter followers to continue practising social distancing in an effort to tackle Covid-19.

Mr Obama has been using his Twitter platform over the last two weeks to raise awareness of the work being done across the country to help stop the spread of the virus.

On Wednesday he shared an article by the New York Times detailing the work medical professionals are doing to treat patients who have contracted the virus, asking people to stay at home in order to help them.

“These are the burdens our medical heroes already face in NYC. It’s only going to get harder across the country. Another reason to maintain social distancing policies at least until we have comprehensive testing in place. Not just for our sake — for theirs,” he tweeted.

Earlier in the month, Mr Obama declared his admiration for health professionals, praising their dedication during the pandemic.

“We owe a profound debt of gratitude to all our health professionals and everybody who’ll be on the front lines of this pandemic for a long while. They’re giving everything. May we all model our own behaviour on their selflessness and sacrifice as we help each other through this.” he tweeted.

The former president has also shared advice during the pandemic, telling his followers to “remember to check up by phone on elderly or vulnerable friends and neighbours who may need our help.”

This week saw the ten year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, which has helped increase healthcare coverage for millions of Americans since Mr Obama signed it into law.

The act, which is often referred to as “Obamacare” has been repeatedly attacked by current president Donald Trump, and Mr Obama tweeted about why he thinks it is needed now more than ever.

“Ten years ago today, I signed the Affordable Care Act into law. It protected pre-existing conditions, cut the uninsured rate in half, and lots more. But it’s still under political attack right when we need care the most. We have to protect it, build on it, until we cover everyone,” tweeted the former president.

During a virtual Fox News town hall on Wednesday, Mr Trump suggested that measures to tackle the pandemic might be eased as early as next week.

“I guess by Monday or Tuesday, it’s about two weeks. We will assess at that time and give it more time if we need a little more time. We have to open this country up.”

According to a tracking project hosted by Johns Hopkins University, upwards of 62,086 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the US. The death toll has reached at least 869.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended a two-week ban on gatherings of more than 50 people as part of the battle to contain the spread of the contagion.

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