(Bloomberg) – President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence said they see signs that the outbreak of the US corona virus is gradually flattening or stabilizing, and cited a daily reduction in deaths in New York, the Covid 19 epicenter in New York country.
“We are starting to see the glimmer of progress,” said Pence at a press conference at the White House on Sunday. “The experts will tell me not to draw any conclusions, and I am not, but like your President, I am an optimistic person.”
Pence said the government is beginning to see that “cases and especially losses” are gradually stabilizing.
The state of New York reported 594 deaths from new corona viruses on Sunday, a reduction of 36 compared to Saturday. Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a daily briefing that the data may show that the state could “plateau” – or “just be a slip”.
But Trump was more optimistic. “Maybe that’s a good sign,” he said. “We hope to see a flattening.”
According to Johns Hopkins University, the United States has the world’s largest publicly reported corona virus outbreak, with more than 335,000 cases and more than 9,500 deaths. Trump said on Saturday that the country would face “a very, very deadly time” in the next two weeks.
Trump said the latest outbreak figures changed the White House’s predictions of how many Americans could die, but he didn’t go into more detail. Last week, the White House predicted that between 100,000 and 240,000 people would die in the outbreak.
State Department immunologist Deborah Birx, who led the White House projections, said an “independent” model she’d examined over the weekend still predicted about 100,000 deaths in the United States. She said that Italy and Spain, which together had more than 260,000 cases and more than 28,000 deaths, have peaked in their outbreaks in the past four weeks after aggressive social distancing efforts.
“It is our word to the American people that we can look like this,” she said.
(Updates with Birx comments in the last paragraph.)
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