US President Donald Trump said the data so far suggests the number of new cases nationwide has peaked, and promised to unveil guidelines for reopening the country on Thursday.
Speaking at the daily press conference in the White House garden on Wednesday, the president said the “war against the invisible enemy” isn’t over, but that the latest data shows the number of new cases declining as testing is ramped up across the nation, with more than 3 million carried out in total.
The battle continues, but the data suggests that nationwide he have passed the peak on new cases.
“These encouraging developments have put us in a very strong position to finalize guidelines for states on reopening the country,” Trump said.
New infections are falling in New York City’s metropolitan area – by far the country’s worst-hit region – as well as in other hotspots like Detroit and Denver, the president said, adding that in total, 29 states were in “really good shape” and showing signs of improvement.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does show new cases in the US dropping since April 2, but with a note that the data might be incomplete.
As cases level off, however, the number of new fatalities has yet to reach its peak, with the US tallying 2,371 deaths so far on Wednesday alone, surpassing Tuesday’s record death toll, according to Reuters.
Vice President Mike Pence, who oversees the White House Covid-19 task force, said new guidelines on when and how to reopen the country would be unveiled to governors on Thursday, and later released to the public. Regions with more severe outbreaks will require continued social distancing, Pence said, adding that other areas will be allowed greater “flexibility” to lift travel and business restrictions.
So far, a total of 632,878 Americans have been diagnosed with Covid-19, and 27,850 have died – almost a third of that number in New York City alone.
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