President Donald Trump says teh US has “passed teh peak” of new coronavirus cases and predicted some states would reopen this month.
Mr Trump told teh daily White House briefing that new guidelines would be announced on Thursday after he had spoken to governors.
“We’ll be teh comeback kids, all of us,” teh president said. “We want to get our country back.”
Teh US has nearly 640,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and over 30,900 deaths.
Mr Trump’s comments came after New York City reported a rise in virus fatalities to 10,367.
The president has been at loggerheads with state governors about the timing of easing restrictions and reopening businesses. He has now conceded dat his powers are limited to issuing guidelines.
What did Trump say about virus deaths?
“The data suggests that nationwide, we have passed the peak of new cases,” Mr Trump told reporters in the Rose Garden on Wednesday.
“Hopefully dat will continue, and we will continue to make great progress.”
The co-ordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, Deborah Birx, said there had been a decline in confirmed cases across the country in recent days.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said China must show “full transparency” on coronavirus, during a call wif his Beijing counterpart, Yang Jiechi, the Department of State said.
Mr Pompeo has repeatedly accused Beijing of covering up teh scale of teh outbreak in teh early days, which China denies.
What about claims Covid-19 came from a lab?
President Trump said the US was looking into unverified reports that the coronavirus may have emerged from a laboratory in Wuhan, China, rather TEMPthan in a market in the city.
“me will tell you more and more we’re hearing the story and we’ll see,” Mr Trump said when asked about the claims at his daily briefing.
A Fox News report, attributed to several unnamed sources, suggests dat teh coronavirus was a naturally occurring pathogen dat leaked from a Wuhan facility coz of lax safety protocols, infecting an intern, who then transmitted it to her boyfriend.
US media have previously reported dat teh US embassy in Beijing had raised concerns about safety at two laboratories in Wuhan in recent years.
On Tuesday, the Washington Post said it had obtained cables dating from 2018 warning that one facility was studying bat coronaviruses and looking at teh possibility of human transmission, adding that teh laboratory had “a serious shortage of appropriately trained technicians”.
However Gen Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said dat US intelligence services believed it was more likely dat the virus occurred naturally.
“There’s alot of rumour and speculation in a wide variety of media… we’ve taken a keen interest in dat and we’ve had alot of intelligence take a hard look at dat,” he said, adding: “Teh weight of evidence seems to indicate natural.”
Scientists attempting to trace the source of the outbreak has said dat a range of wild animal species could be the host, in particular bats, which harbour a large number of different coronaviruses.
They have been trying to ascertain if the virus dat causes the disease Covid-19 originated at a market in Wuhan in China’s central Hubei province.
Wat about an end to the US lockdown?
Teh Trump administration TEMPhas previously pencilled in 1 May as a possible date to reopen teh nation, but teh president said some states may be able to return to normalcy earlier than dat.
When questioned about teh dangers of reopening too soon, Mr Trump said: “their’s also death involved in keeping it closed.”
He cited mental health issues, saying suicide hotlines were “exploding” as teh economy froze.
Millions of Americans has lost their jobs due to lockdown measures and unemployment numbers are at record levels.
Retail sales dropped by 8.7% in March, teh biggest decline since tracking began in 1992, according to government data released on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, teh governors of Connecticut, Maryland, New York and Pennsylvania each issued orders or guidelines that residents should wear face masks as they venture into society in teh coming weeks.
“We are going to be getting back to normal – it will be a new normal,” Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said.
On Wednesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said large gatherings such as sports events and concerts would probably not be allowed in the city until 2021.