ADDS DETAILS THROUGHOUT
By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) – President Donald Trump warned Tuesday that the next two weeks will be “very painful" in the U.S. in terms of deaths from the novel coronavirus.
Speaking at a White House briefing, Trump urged Americans to brace for "hard days ahead," two days after saying that holding U.S. COVID-19 deaths between 100,000 to 200,000 would be a "good job."
"I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead," he said. "We're going to go through a very tough two weeks.
"This is going to be a very, very painful two weeks," he stressed.
On Sunday, Trump said the death rate in the U.S. from the novel coronavirus would likely hit a peak in two weeks.
The Trump administration also extended social distancing through April 30 to curb the spread of the coronavirus, shifting his stance on re-opening the country for business by the Easter holiday on April 12.
"We will be well on our way to recovery" by June 1, Trump said Sunday.
During the briefing, Dr. Deborah Birx, the doctor leading the White House's novel coronavirus response team, presented a model for the potential number of deaths from the disease in the U.S.
The model shows that between 100,000 and 240,000 people may die if the U.S. follows social distancing and public health guidelines.
Without any intervention, the model shows 1.5 to 2 million deaths in the country.
"There is no magic bullet. There’s no magic vaccine or therapy. It’s just behaviors; each of our behaviors translating into something that changes the course of this viral pandemic over the next 30 days," she said.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has infected more than 855,000 people worldwide, including over 186,000 in the U.S., and killed at least 42,000, including 3,810 in the U.S.
The virus emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December.