Donald Trump has warned Americans to expect a “very painful two weeks” in the fight against coronavirus as the country’s death toll peaks.
In a briefing at the White House, the US president urged people to follow social distancing guidelines to combat the spread of COVID-19 which have been enforced until the end of April.
“It’s absolutely critical for the American people to follow the guidelines for the next 30 days,” Mr Trump said.
“It’s a matter of life and death, frankly.
“I want every American to be prepared for the tough days ahead. It’s going to be a very, very painful two weeks.
Mr Trump branded COVID-19 an “invisible enemy” and “a plague” and said the US government was holding back 10,000 ventilators ahead of an expected “surge” in cases.
“This is going to be three weeks like we haven’t seen before,” he added.
The White House projects 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the US from the coronavirus pandemic if social distancing guidelines are maintained.
Graphs shown at Tuesday’s briefing showed that without the measures COVID-19 deaths in the US could reach 2.2 million.
Mr Trump has previously warned that coronavirus deaths in the US are expected to peak in two weeks’ time , with forecasts predicting 2,214 deaths on 15 April.
His remarks came less than after he said he wanted the US economy running again by Easter .