Trump extends shutdown, Fauci warns 200,000 could die

Posted at 9:22 AM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 11:22:18-04

President Trump has extended the nationwide shutdown of thousands of businesses until April 30, prolonging social distancing measures in a bid to curtail the fast-spreading coronavirus epidemic.

Mr. Trump says the rate of new infections in the country is expected to "peak" in about two weeks, but he believes the U.S. will be "well on its way to recovery" by June 1.

While endorsing Mr. Trump's decision to prolong the economic pain to slow the disease, the nation's top epidemiologist Dr. Anthony Fauci says COVID-19 could still claim between 100,000 and 200,000 American lives.

As of Monday morning, the U.S. death toll was over 2,500. More than 143,000 people have tested positive in the U.S. — almost a fifth of the roughly 723,000 cases worldwide. Doctors and nurses in New York, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, and elsewhere, continue to face shortages of vital protective equipment and ICU beds.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has warned the disease is spreading "like fire through dry grass" at senior care facilities across the country.