As coronavirus testing ramps up across the United States, President Donald Trump is defying the medical community by suggesting life should return to normal within weeks to help revitalize the economy.
The World Health Organization said Tuesday that the U.S. is fast becoming the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, with 40% of new cases over the last 24 hours reported there.
Meanwhile, Trump said during a virtual Fox News town hall Tuesday that he is eager to "open back up" the economy as soon as Easter Sunday.
"You can destroy a country this way, by closing it down," Trump said.
The president's suggestion that he may soon scale back social distancing restrictions has caused an uproar among the medical community and other officials.
In New York, which has about half of the country's reported cases, Governor Andrew Cuomo has been pleading with the federal government to take the crisis seriously despite potential effects on the economy.
"No American is going to say 'accelerate the economy at the cost of human life,' because no American is going to say how much a life is worth," Cuomo said. "Job one has to be save lives."