Daily US Times: US President Donald Trump says that the coronavirus has “passed the peak” in the country and predicted some states would reopen this month.
Mr Trump said at the daily White House virus briefing that new reopening guidelines would be announced on Thursday after he speaks to governors.
The president said: “We’ll be the comeback kids, all of us. We want to get our country back.”
The US has suffered the worst in the current coronavirus pandemic. Nearly 31,000 people have died there, the world’s highest, with 640,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases.
Mr Trump said, “The data suggests that nationwide, we have passed the peak of new cases.”
“Hopefully that will continue, and we will continue to make great progress,” he added.
More than 137,000 people have died from coronavirus, and US accounted for a significant proportion of the global death toll. When asked about that, President Trump accused other countries of lying about their mortality rate.
Naming China, he said: “Does anybody really believe the numbers of some of these countries?”
He also said the US looking into unverified reports that the coronavirus has emerged from a laboratory in Wuhan rather than in a wet market.
According to US media, US embassy in Beijing previously raised concerns about safety at two laboratories in Wuhan. But on Tuesday, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley said that US intelligence services believed it was more likely that the virus occurred naturally.
Trump administration has previously indicated that in 1 May as a possible date to reopen the nation, but now the president said some states may be able to return to normal earlier than that.
When asked about the danger of reopening, Trump replied: “There’s also death involved in keeping it closed.”
He mentioned mental health issues, saying suicide hotlines were “exploding” as the economy freezes.
Millions of Americans have lost their jobs due to sweeping lockdown measures across the country, taking the unemployment numbers at record levels.
According to government data released on Wednesday, Retail sales dropped by 8.7% in March, the biggest decline since tracking began in 1992.
Meanwhile, the governors of New York, Maryland, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania each issued orders or guidelines that residents should wear face masks as they venture into society in the coming weeks.
“We are going to be getting back to normal – it will be a new normal,” Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said.