THE death toll of the coronavirus pandemic has surpassed 600 in the US, and nearly 50,000 more people have been infected, officials said today.
The country is more than a week into an unprecedented 15-day effort to encourage all Americans to scale back their public activities.
President Trump said he hopes to loosen restrictions within a few weeks despite the alarming numbers – a total of 677 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19.
“I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter,” Trump said during a Fox News virtual town hall.
Easter is April 12.
Health experts fear the number of infections will overwhelm the health care system if the restrictions don't stay in place.
New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned today that his state’s hospital capacity will soon hit a breaking point.
Regarding the closures, Trump said, “I gave it two weeks."
He said that tens of thousands of Americans die from the seasonal flu or in car accidents and “we don't turn the country off.”
"I'm sure that we have doctors that would say 'let's keep it closed for two years,'" he added.
“No, we got to get it open.
"This cure is worse than the problem."
Vice President Mike Pence said Trump has asked for recommendations from the coronavirus task force for how he can send people back to work while minimizing the risk.
He said Trump wants to find a way “to open America back up.”
Stocks surged on Wall Street today as Congress neared a deal to inject $2 trillion into the economy.
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