Speaking at a contentious White House coronavirus news briefing on Sunday that involved testy standoffs with multiple reporters, President Trump declared that “the peak in death rate” in the coronavirus pandemic “is likely to hit in two weeks,” and said the federal government will be extending its social-distancing guidelines through April 30.
“The modeling estimates that the peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks. I will say it again. The peak, the highest point of death rates, remember this, is likely to hit in two weeks… Therefore, we will be extending our guidelines to April 30, to slow the spread,” the president said in the White House Rose Garden.
Saying his earlier hope that the country could reopen by Easter was “just an aspiration,” Trump added: “We can expect that by June 1, we will be well on our way to recovery” and that “a lot of great things will be happening.”
When asked about worst-case economic scenarios if the country were to remain closed indefinitely, the president responded, “You’re gonna have large numbers of suicides — tremendous [numbers of] suicides… You will see drugs being used like nobody has ever used them before, and people are going to be dying all over the place.”