US President Donald Trump has said he hopes the US will shake off coronavirus by Easter, even as New York’s governor sounded the alarm that the illness is spreading faster than “a bullet train”.
The president told a White House news briefing reopening the US early next month would be “a beautiful timeline”.
His optimistic tone came as the World Health Organization warned the US could become the pandemic’s global epicentre.
The US has recorded almost 55,000 cases and nearly 800 deaths.
Globally there have been more than 420,000 cases confirmed and approaching 19,000 deaths.
On Tuesday, he told Fox News he hoped the country could get back to normal by Easter, which is on 12 April.
Mr Trump, a Republican, said: “We’re going to be opening relatively soon… I would love to have the country opened up and just rearing to go by Easter.”
He added in a subsequent interview: “Easter is a very special day for me… and you’ll have packed churches all over our country.”