President Donald Trump says the US has “passed the peak” of new Covid-19 cases and predicted some states would reopen this month.
At the daily White House virus briefing, Mr Trump said new reopening guidelines would be announced on Thursday after he speaks to governors.
“We’ll be the comeback kids, all of us,” the president said. “We want to get our country back.”
The US has nearly 635,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases and over 28,000 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 that will continue, and we will continue to make great progress.”
The president said 3.3m Covid-19 tests had been conducted and antibody tests would soon be available.
These developments, he said, “put us in a strong position to finalise guidelines for states reopening”.
The Trump administration had previously pencilled in 1 May as a possible date to reopen the nation, but the president said some states may be able to return to normalcy earlier than that.
“I think that will be a very exciting time, indeed,” he said.
When questioned about the dangers of reopening the nation too soon, Mr Trump said: “There’s also death involved in keeping it closed.”
He cited mental health issues, saying suicide hotlines were “exploding” as the economy freezes.
Millions of Americans have lost their jobs due to lockdown measures across the country, and unemployment numbers are at record levels.
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