White House projects 100K-240K US deaths from coronavirus pandemic if social distancing is maintained

Trump called on Americans to brace themselves for a "rough two-week period" but predicted the country would soon see a "light at the end of the tunnel" of the global catastrophe that has killed more than 3,500 Americans and infected 170,000 more.

News 12 Staff

Mar 31, 2020, 6:59 PM

Updated 1,516 days ago

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White House projects 100K-240K US deaths from coronavirus pandemic if social distancing is maintained
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The White House on Tuesday projected 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. from the coronavirus pandemic if current social distancing guidelines are maintained. President Donald Trump called American efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus "a matter of life and death" and urged the public to heed his administration's social distancing guidelines.
Trump called on Americans to brace themselves for a "rough two-week period" but predicted the country would soon see a "light at the end of the tunnel" of the global catastrophe that has killed more than 3,500 Americans and infected 170,000 more.
"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."
The comments came after Trump announced Sunday that he was extending to April 30 the social distancing guidelines that urged Americans to cease social gatherings, work from home, suspend onsite learning at schools and more in a nationwide effort to stem the spread of the virus.
It was an abrupt reversal for Trump, who spent much of last week targeting April 12 as the day he wanted to see Americans "pack the pews" for Easter Sunday services.
Many states and local governments already have stiffer controls in place on mobility and gatherings.
Trump spoke after another troubling day for the stock market, which has been in a free fall as the cononavirus ground the economy to a near-halt and left millions unemployed. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 400 points, or roughly 1.9%, to seal the worst first-quarter finish of its 135-year history.
 
BRIEFING UPDATES:
-The White House projects 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in US from coronavirus pandemic if social distancing is maintained.
- Projections show deaths are expected to continue through June, though at a lower rate.
 - President Trump says additional ventilators have been sent to New York, New Jersey and Louisiana. Pence added that ventilators are going to Connecticut, Illinois and Michigan.
- Trump: 'I think I'm getting A+'s for how I handled myself during a phony impeachment,' in response to if the impeachment trials led to a delayed response to COVID-19.
- Trump: "We're going to go through a tough, painful two weeks."
- Trump: "I think only good things can be said when you look at the job that's been done."
- President Trump talks about Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, near where he grew up, compares the scenes to people going into war.
- Dr. Birx: Projected fatalities lean heavily on what happens over the coming two weeks.
- Birx: 'I know it's stressful to follow guidelines, but its more stressful for those on the frontlines.'
- Dr. Fauci: 'Mitigation is working and will work...our goal is to get hotspots around that curve and prevent other places from getting to that point.'
- VP Pence stresses that the American people have 30 days to put the task force's guidelines into action and slow the spread of COVID-19.
- Pence: 17,000 National Guard members put into action to fight the virus.
- 1.1 million tests have been administered around the U.S.
- Trump says New York, New Jersey 'got off to a late start.'
- Trump says 'we hope it's enough' in response to if the steps in place are enough.
- VP Pence says they'll defer to states in the case of issuing stay-at-home orders.
PHOTOS: The impact of coronavirus around the world
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