Alex Brandon / AP
Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET
President Trump said Wednesday that recent data suggests that the United States has weathered the worst of new coronavirus cases as it seeks to reopen the pandemic-stricken national economy.
“The data suggests that across the country we have surpassed the peak of new cases. Hopefully this will continue and we will continue to make great progress, “said Trump at the daily briefing of the coronavirus task force at the White House Rose Garden.
Trump said more than 3 million tests for COVID-19, the coronavirus disease, have been done.
He also said he would announce his way to reopening some states before May 1. “These developments have put us in a strong position to finalize the guidelines for the reopening of states,” he said.
Trump’s optimistic remarks come after a week of litigation between the president and state governors, following a misrepresentation earlier this week that he had the ability to unilaterally decide when states would ease restrictions on coronaviruses .
“When someone is president of the United States, authority is complete,” Trump said in a widely discredited speech on Monday. On Tuesday, he turned around, saying he would guide the governors but allow them to decide when and how to reopen.
Watch Wednesday’s briefing live.
Wednesday’s briefing comes after an Easter weekend of deaths from COVID-19 which launched the highest death toll in the United States in the world. Yet experts say efforts to contain the virus appear to have a positive effect, blaming social distancing measures for helping to slow the spread of the disease.
The coronavirus epidemic has devastated the national economy, with some 17 million Americans claiming unemployment benefits in recent weeks.
Trump has said he wants to reopen the country’s economy as soon as possible and has announced a group of industry leaders dedicated to reviving the country’s business prospects.