WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump hailed the health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic as "incredible people" on Tuesday evening.
During the daily White House coronavirus task force briefing, Trump recounted watching doctors and nurses walk into a New York City hospital earlier in the day.
"To see the scenes of trailers out there and what they're doing with those trailers -- they're freezers, nobody can even believe it," Trump said, referencing refrigerated trucks set up outside the hospital as makeshift morgues.
Trump continued: "I watched doctors and the nurses walking into that hospital this morning. It's like military people going into battle, going into war. The bravery is incredible."
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"I would take my hat if I was wearing a hat. I'd rip that hat off so fast and I would say, 'You people are just incredible.' They really are. They're really brave," he added.
The president's message came as he formally released his 30-day guidelines for battling the coronavirus, saying compliance with the recommendations is a "matter of life and death."
"Every citizen is being called upon to make sacrifices," he added.
The guidelines are similar to the administration's earlier advice that aimed to slow the spread of the virus in two weeks. The president, however, recently announced that he was going to extend the guidelines for another 30 days, giving up his hope to reopen the national economy by Easter.
Trump said: "This is going to be a very painful, very very painful two weeks."
The guidelines call for continued social distancing, staying at home if sick and calling your doctor. People are also urged to refrain from going to restaurants and bars, utilize delivery and takeout food options and protect the elderly, although young people are at risk too.
The Associated Press contributed this report.
Trump's personal message for health care workers amid coronavirus crisis: 'You people are just incredible'