President Trump revised his plan to end social distancing and other measures to combat coronavirus, saying the old deadline, Easter, April 12, was "just an aspiration."
Trump said he expected to see "great things" start happening around June 1.
"The peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks," he said. "Nothing would be worse than declaring victory before the victory is won... therefore, we will be extending our guidelines to April 30 to slow the spread."
QUESTION: Mr. President, given that you're announcing that you're extending these guidelines, was floating Easter a mistake do you think? And -- can you tell us why then?
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: It was just an aspiration. We actually will be hitting, potentially--this was with our meeting before--on Easter, we're probably--that could be a peak--that could be a peak period. That could be the peak--sadly to say, that could be the peak number of deaths before it starts coming down.
No, that was aspirational. We had an aspiration of Easter, but when you hear these kind of numbers and you hear the potential travesty, we don't want to do anything where--you know, we don't want to have it spike up. We don't want to do it soon and then all of the sudden, you go down, you're coming down, and then you start going up again, because we discussed that can happen. And, we don't want that to happen.
We've gone through too much. So, that was an aspirational number. I didn't say Easter. I said it would be a great thing if we could do it by Easter, and we know much more now that we knew two or three weeks ago. Easter should be the peak number and it should start coming down, and hopefully very substantially from that point. Okay?