President Donald Trump extended federal guidelines urging people to stay home and avoid groups until April 30 as the number of coronavirus cases in the US continued to skyrocket.
Trump announced the 15-day guidelines two weeks ago and they were set to expire on Monday. Trump suggested throughout last week that the wanted to “reopen” the economy by Easter but apparently was convinced otherwise.
"Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won," he said on Sunday. "The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end."
"By June 1, we will be well on our way to recovery," he added. "We think by June 1, a lot of great things will be happening."
Trump says 100K to 200K will die:
Trump, who last month predicted that the number of coronavirus cases would soon fall to “close to zero,” said Sunday that it would be welcome news if 100,000 to 200,000 people die, citing a study that predicted 2.2 million would die without intervention.
"You're talking about 2.2 million deaths — 2.2 million people from this," Trump said. "And so, if we can hold that down, as we're saying, to 100,000 — that's a horrible number — maybe even less, but to 100,000, so we have between 100- and 200,000, we all together have done a very good job."
Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, told NBC News that achieving a death toll as low as 200,000 would require the country to “do things almost perfectly.”
Fauci says Trump needed convincing:
"We felt that if we prematurely pulled back, we would only form an acceleration or a rebound of something, which would have put you behind where you were before," Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the country, told CNN. "And that's the reason why we argued strongly with the president that he not withdraw those guidelines after 15 days, but that he extend them — and he did listen."