The coronavirus pandemic has now claimed over 2,300 lives in the United States, as the number of cases across the country topped 135,000. The hot spot around New York City has been the focus of intense attention since the last coronavirus task force briefing on Friday, as President Trump mulled an increase in quarantine restrictions on New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, but ultimately ended up sticking with the travel restrictions advised by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention.

Authorities have advised additional metropolitan areas with high population densities to brace for a surge in COVID-19 cases similar to what is being seen in New York City. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health estimates, but was careful not to predict, that deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. could range from 100,000 to 200,000, with millions of cases across the country.

During this briefing, President Trump announced the extension of the social distancing guidelines from the original 15-day window to the end of April, essentially an extra 5 weeks. The president also mentioned several times that he was expressing hope that the pandemic will have taken a turn by June 1.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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