The White House has decided to cancel the annual Easter egg roll that was set to take place on the South Lawn on April 13th over concern for the Covid-19 outbreak. Per the guidelines issued over the weekend for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, all social gatherings over 50 people are being urged to cancel or reschedule for a period of at least 8 weeks.
This cancellation marks yet another historical decision.
The annual event has only been canceled on a small handful of other occasions since it began in 1814 under James Madison when his wife, Dolly, hosted the first event. The event was canceled during World War II for food rationing between 1943-1947, and again from 1948-1952 when the White House was renovated under President Truman.
As the Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak ravages Europe, experts suggest that the United States is only about ten days behind Italy in terms of its numbers. On Monday alone, Italy reported a record 3,000+ new cases of the virus, bringing the total to just below 28,000 in the Southern European country.
But as Italy hopes that its cases will soon slow down, other parts of the world are just getting started in what will likely be a deadly outbreak that affects millions of people around the world. In Spain, another new epicenter for the virus’ spread, nearly 1,500 new cases were reported on Monday.
Many fear that reported numbers around the world are not accurate, and have not been for awhile.
In Iran, nearly 15,000 cases have surfaced over the last couple of weeks, resulting in mass deaths throughout the country. Satellite images of mass burial sites near the country’s Qom area suggest that its government is not reporting accurate death tolls relating to the virus. If this were the case, it would not be the first instance of a country withholding information about the outbreak to the outside world.
In the United States, a major shortage of testing kits suggests a similar situation in regard to accurate numbers of cases at all, even as President Trump assures the general public that the situation is under control. As of Monday, the Trump Administration has issued a warning to all Americans not to gather in groups of ten people or more.
The administration announced in a press conference on Monday that the White House is looking to administer a national lockdown on certain areas in the country, particularly in dense areas like New York City. The annual Easter Egg Roll on the White House South Lawn was set to take place on April 13th, but will be canceled to stop the spread of the virus.