US President Donald Trump has said coronavirus restrictions such as social distancing will be extended across the country until at least 30 April.
“The highest point of the death rate is likely to hit in two weeks,” Mr Trump said on Sunday, adding: “Therefore we will be extending our guidelines.”
Dr Anthony Fauci, the face of the Trump administration’s coronavirus task force, earlier warned that the virus could kill up to 200,000 Americans.
The US has 137,294 confirmed cases.
So far, 2,414 deaths have been recorded in the country in relation to Covid-19, according to figures collated by Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.
The United States overtook both China and Italy last week for the number of reported cases.
Speaking during the latest Coronavirus Task Force press briefing at the White House on Sunday, the president said that measures such as social distancing were “the way you win”, adding that the US “will be well on our way to recovery” by June.
Suggesting that the “peak” of recorded deaths in the US was likely to hit in two weeks, Mr Trump said that “nothing would be worse than declaring victory before victory is won”.
“That would be the greatest loss of all,” he said.
He had previously said that Easter – the weekend of 12 April – would be a “beautiful time” to be able to open at least some sections of the country.
What did Trump say about ventilators?
Earlier on Sunday, Mr Trump accused hospitals in some states of “hoarding” ventilators, face masks and other critical medical supplies.
“We do have a problem with hoarding… including ventilators. Hospitals need to release them – in some cases they have too many, they have to release medical supplies and equipment,” he said.
Hospitals “can’t hold them if they think there might be a problem weeks down the road”, he said, alleging that some were “stocked up”.
The availability of ventilators is a major concern among health professionals as demand has surged with the spread of the virus, A number of states have warned that they will soon run out.
President Trump has ordered a car manufacturer in Detroit to produce more ventilators to satisfy demand.