The White House, U.S. Capitol, and Supreme Court buildings have been closed for public tours until at least April 1, the Congressional Sergeants at Arms and White House staff announced Thursday.
The closings come as the coronavirus pandemic has forced the NBA to suspend its season, along with numerous other sports groups. White House and Congressional staff will still be able to work in their buildings, but all scheduled public tours have been cancelled. The White House and SCOTUS closures have no end date. (RELATED: Trump To Announce Payroll Tax Cut For Coronavirus-Affected Workers)
Capitol closed for tours until April 1 pic.twitter.com/rLjYMW1W4m
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 12, 2020
“We are taking this temporary action out of concern for the health and safety of Congressional employees and the public,” the House and Senate sergeants at arms said in a joint statement. “We appreciate the understanding of those with planned visits interrupted by this necessary, but prudent, decision.”
Vice President Mike Pence warned Americans Thursday to expect “thousands” more coronavirus cases before the disease blows over. (RELATED: Trump’s Messaging On Coronavirus Is Unpopular–Even On The Right)
Pence’s statement comes after President Donald Trump gave an Oval Office address on the federal response to COVID-19, announcing near-total bans on travel from Europe as well as financial relief for impacted workers.
“What do your experts tell you the number of infected Americans is likely to be? I’m looking for a number if you have it.” –@savannahguthrie asks about the coronavirus
“There will be thousands of more cases of coronavirus.” –@Mike_Pence
“Thousands or millions?” -Guthrie pic.twitter.com/G3TV2Hwnw6
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) March 12, 2020
Pence’s statement is the first time the coronavirus task force has given a numerical estimate for expected cases, previously telling Americans to simply “expect more cases.”