200330 Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump arrives during a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, U.S., March 29, 2020. Image Credit: Reuters

Washington: President Donald Trump said Sunday that the peak death rate in the United States from the coronavirus pandemic was likely to hit in two weeks and extended “social distancing” guidelines until April 30.

“Easter should be the peak number,” Trump said of the Christian holiday which falls on April 12.

“The modelling estimates that the peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks,” the president said during a briefing in the Rose Garden of the White House.

“It should start coming down - and hopefully very substantially - from that point,” he said.

Read more

Trump said that he was extending the government’s “social distancing” guidelines until April 30 to “slow the spread” of the virus, which has infected nearly 140,000 in the United States and left more than 2,400 dead.

“Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won,” he said.

“It’s very important that every one strongly follow the guidelines.”

Trump also said he expects the country “will be well on our way to recovery” by June 1 - dropping his previous target of Easter.

He said there would be an “important” announcement on Tuesday about the government’s plans and strategy going forward.

“On Tuesday, we will be finalizing these plans and providing a summary of our findings, supporting data and strategy to the American people,” he said.