President Donald Trump appeared at a Coronavirus Task Force press conference on Sunday to say that the social distancing guidelines will be extended to April 30, to which he added that the peak of the death cases is expected in the following two weeks, but that by June 1 the United States is likely to recover.
“The peak for death rates is likely to hit in two weeks,” Trump said. “Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before victory is won.”
Last week, the President said he was hopeful that the U.S. will be open for business by Easter Sunday; however, his latest statements indicate that the COVID-19-related deaths will likely hit peak right around Easter, Newsweek reported.
Also at the news conference was Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
“The decision to extend this mitigation process until the end of April, I think was a wise and prudent decision,” he said. “Dr. [Deborah] Birx and I spent a considerable amount of time going over all the data, why we felt this was the best choice of us, and the President accepted it.”
Fauci said the data shows a wide range of deaths, and that the task force did not want to “act prematurely” on lifting any social distancing guidelines. On CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday morning, Fauci said there could be between 100,000 and 200,000 coronavirus deaths in the U.S.
During the news conference, Trump also challenged the media to investigate for themselves how the number of masks needed annually at one New York hospital went from 10,000 or so to 30 times as many, even questioning if those masks are “going out the back door.”
“How do you go from 10,000 to 20,000 to 300,000? 10,000 to 20,000 masks to 300,000?” Trump asked.
Trump went on to say he expects the nation to be in recovery a few weeks before the start of summer.
“We hope to be well on our way to recovery by June 1,” Trump said.
COVID-19 is the official name of coronavirus, which was first detected in Wuhan, China in late 2019. Since then, there have been over than 720,000 people worldwide who tested positive and more than 33,000 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. There have been 149,000 recoveries.
The United States leads all countries with nearly 140,000 positive cases, and the U.S. has more than 2,400 deaths related to coronavirus.