After talking for days about relaxing federal calls for Americans to drastically restrict their social activities in order to curb the spread of the Coronavirus, President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he would be extending those guidelines through the end of April, after new estimates showed the threat of a huge number of deaths from the virus outbreak.
"The peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks," the President told reporters gathered in the Rose Garden. "Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won."
"We will be extending our guidelines to April 30, to slow the spread," Mr. Trump said, urging Americans to help by limiting their social activities.
"The better you do, the faster this whole nightmare will end," the President added.
The President said the decision was made after new modeling made available to the White House estimated the death totals from the Coronavirus could run over 1 million unless strong mitigation efforts were taken by Americans.
At the White House, top federal experts endorsed the President's course change.
"We feel that the mitigation we are doing right now is having an effect
"The decision to prolong - not prolong, but extend - this mitigation process until the end of April, I think was a wise and prudent decision," said Dr. Anthony Fauci.
White House Coronavirus expert Dr. Deborah Birx said the 'growing number of potential fatalities' shown by the models made clear the need for more action to hold down the spread of the virus.
Birx told reporters it is "not a simple situation when you ask people to stay home for another 30 days, so they have to know that we really built this on scientific evidence and the potential to save hundreds of thousands of American lives."
“To every metro area out there, we have to do better," Dr. Birx said at the Sunday briefing.