President Donald Trump said Sunday that the federal government's social-distancing guidelines have been extended through the end of April, backing down from his previous comments that he hoped the country could returned to normal by Easter.
Speaking at a news conference at the White House, Trump said the death rate from COVID-19 is expected to peak in two weeks and the recovery might begin by June 1, The Christian post reported.
"The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end," the President said. "It's very important that everybody strongly follow the guidelines."
As of early Monday, there were 732,153 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus with a death toll of 34,686 and 154,673 recoveries, according to Johns Hopkins University. In the United States, the number of confirmed cases reached 143,055 with 2,513 deaths, out of which at least 776 occurred in New York.
The Whitehouse's Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said that without any precautionary measures, as many as 200,000 Americans could die during the outbreak, even with much of the country already under stay-at-home orders and practicing social distancing.
She warned that the whole of America needs to prepare for the outbreak as "no state or metro area will be spared."
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the top infectious disease specialist also predicted on CNN that more than 100,000 Americans could eventually die from corona virus with millions more infected.
The forecasts had convinced Mr. Trump to extend social distancing guidelines through the end of April. However, he also cautioned that such projections of deaths could "easily" prove to be wrong told Christianpost.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Sunday that President Trump has issued a major disaster declaration for Washington, D.C., providing federal emergency aid to supplement the District's recovery efforts in the areas affected by the coronavirus.