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 President Donald Trump suggested that Americans should consider giving up the tradition of greeting each other with a hand-shake — forever.

US President Donald Trump suggested that Americans should consider giving up the tradition of greeting each other with a hand-shake — forever. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases reportedly told Trump that the regular flu would be cut down by quite a bit if we didn’t shake hands.”

Trump has set a goal of returning Americans back to work by Easter, despite the coronavirus outbreak, but he said at a White House news conference on Thursday that they shouldn’t entirely abandon “social distancing” practices, especially shaking hands.

“Maybe people aren’t going to be shaking hands anymore,” Trump said, adding that he had discussed the practice with Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “He was saying the regular flu would be cut down by quite a bit if we didn’t do that, if we didn’t shake hands.”

The president has said he wasn’t much of a hand-shaker before he ran for political office. But he and Vice President Mike Pence have continued to shake hands with guests during White House events opened to the press during the coronavirus outbreak.

The U.S. has more confirmed cases of the coronavirus than any country in the world, surpassing China, where the pandemic began. There are now more than 83,140 cases in America an increase of 14933 cases over yesterdays , with more than 1200 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

China has reported 81,285 cases and Italy has reported 80,589. The U.S. has a population of more than 329 million, far smaller than China’s more than 1.3 billion.

Meanwhile, nearly 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment last week as the virus shuttered businesses and halted normal life across large swaths of the country. The unprecedented number of Americans filed a claim for jobless aid – a nearly fivefold increase over the previous weekly record set in 1982. 

Early Thursday, the Senate passed an unprecedented $2 trillion relief package to help workers, businesses and the severely strained health care system survive the pandemic. 

BLOOMBERG/YL

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