COVID-19: US President Donald Trump predicts 'a lot of death'

Updated: Apr 06, 2020, 07:36 IST | Agencies | Washington

US President Donald Trump promises medical supplies to combat the virus, yet suggests easing social distancing guidelines for Easter

Health officials move bodies of COVID-19 victims to a refrigerator truck serving as a temporary morgue outside of Wyckoff Hospital in the Borough of Brooklyn. Pic/AFP
Health officials move bodies of COVID-19 victims to a refrigerator truck serving as a temporary morgue outside of Wyckoff Hospital in the Borough of Brooklyn. Pic/AFP

US President Donald Trump has warned Americans to prepare for the 'toughest week' of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic yet, predicting a surge in deaths. At his daily briefing, Mr Trump said 'there will be death' in a grim assessment of the days ahead.

He sought to reassure the worst-hit states, promising medical supplies and military personnel to combat the virus. But in contrast to his warning, Mr Trump suggested easing social-distancing guidelines for Easter.

"We have to open our country again," Mr Trump told a news conference at the White House on Saturday. "We don't want to be doing this for months and months and months."

Trump's calls to relax restrictions came on the day confirmed Coronavirus infections in the US surpassed 3,00,000, the highest number in the world. As of Saturday, there were almost 8,500 deaths from Covid-19 in the US, with most in New York state.

New York state recorded 630 more deaths, another daily record that takes its toll to 3,565. The state now has almost as many cases — more than 113,000 — as the whole of Italy, one of the countries worst-hit by Coronavirus. The military personnel will 'soon' be advised of their assignments, he said, adding that "1,000 military personnel" were being deployed to New York City.

Trump also addressed his use of the Defence Production Act, a Korean-War-era law that gives him powers to control the production and supply of US-made medical products. He said he was "very disappointed" with 3M, a US company that makes face masks, saying it "should be taking care of our country" instead of selling to others.

8,500 - Total no. of deaths in the US

1,13,704 - Total Coronavirus cases in New York state

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