Coronavirus: Trump reverses and now says Easter will be highest spike in US with deaths not dropping until June

John T Bennett

Donald Trump said Monday that US officials expect the number of coronavirus cases in the United States to "spike" around Easter Sunday, a reversal from his talk of opening much of the country by 12 April.

The president, during a morning call-in interview with Fox News, continued his focus on the American death toll, saying this: "By a little short of June, maybe June 1m, we think ... the death will be ... brought down to a very low number."

"We have a very low morality rate," Mr Trump said. "And there are reasons for that."

He contended that had his administration not taken certain steps, like banning travellers from China, 2.2m Americans could have died. (The US death toll now is over 2,000.)

A day after Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Mr Trump's early response to warnings the virus was headed to the United States "deadly," the president called the California Democrat a "sick puppy."

"She's got a lot of problems, in my opinion," he said without providing details of those alleged issues.

The president appeared in full campaign mode as he cannot hold his signature rallies, contending "Sleepy Joe wouldn't even know what was going on." That was a dig at former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee whom Mr Trump contends is mentally feeble.

More follows…