President Donald Trump warned that the next two weeks would be “tough” as the White House projected that as many as 240,000 people would die even with severe restrictions.
"I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead,” Trump said. “We're going to go through a very tough two weeks.”
With mitigation efforts, the country should avoid a large spike and up to 2.2 million deaths that were projected without restrictions.
"This is a number that we need to anticipate, but we don't necessarily have to accept it as being inevitable," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "We can influence this to varying degrees."
"This is tough. People are suffering. People are dying. It's inconvenient from a societal standpoint, from an economic standpoint to go through this, but this is going to be the answer to our problems," he said. "Let's all pull together and make sure as we look forward to the next 30 days, we do it with all the intensity and force that we can."
Trump casts himself as savior:
Despite calling to reopen the country by April 12, Trump now claims that he defended the need for restrictions against those calling to lift them soon.
"Think of what would have happened if we didn't do anything. I mean, I've had many friends -- businesspeople -- people with great, actually, common sense, they said, 'Why don't we ride it out?' A lot of people have said -- a lot of people have thought about it. 'Ride it out. Don't do anything, just ride it out and think of it as the flu.' But it's not the flu. It's vicious," he said.
More than 2 million people "would have died if we did nothing, if we just carried on with our life," he added. "You would have seen people dying on airplanes, you would have seen people dying in hotel lobbies — you would have seen death all over."
Trump was the person he described:
While Trump blamed the push to prematurely reopen the economy on his “friends,” he dismissed the virus by comparing to the “flu” and urged to lift restrictions just days earlier.
"So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths," he tweeted earlier this month. "Think about that!"
"The LameStream Media is the dominant force in trying to get me to keep our Country closed as long as possible in the hope that it will be detrimental to my election success," he later added. "The real people want to get back to work ASAP. We will be stronger than ever before!"