President Donald Trump has said the United States has “passed the peak” of new coronavirus cases, and says the government will announce plans to reopen some states before the end of the month.
He said guidelines on reopening the economy would be announced on Thursday, after discussions with state governors.
“We want to get our country back,” Mr Trump said, describing the US as “the comeback kids.”
"The data suggests that nationwide, we have passed the peak of new cases," Mr Trump told reporters on Wednesday, “hopefully that will continue, and we will continue to make great progress."
When asked about the dangers of opening the country too early, the President said: “There’s also death involved in keeping it closed.”
The United States, where 640,000 people have tested positive for the virus, and more than 30,000 people have died from it, accounts for more than a fifth of Covid-19 deaths worldwide.
The global death toll stands at 136,908.
Challenged on why the US death rate was so high, Mr Trump accused other countries of lying about their mortality rates.
He also said his administration was investigating unverified reports that coronavirus emerged from laboratories in Wuhan, China.
The US embassy in Beijing is thought to have raised concerns about two labs in the Chinese city, but General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said intelligence suggested it was more likely the virus occurred naturally.
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