The White House on Tuesday released new estimates of a staggering death toll associated with the spread of the Coronavirus in the United States, predicting anywhere between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths even if Americans do their best to avoid social interactions, as President Donald Trump warned the nation of a difficult road ahead.
"This is going to be a very painful, very, very painful two weeks," the President said at the White House. "This is going to be a rough two week period."
In the White House Briefing Room, Mr. Trump fully embraced scientific models championed by experts which show many thousands of Americans are likely to die in the month of April from the virus.
"I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead," the President said. "We're going to go through a very tough two weeks."
The blunt warning came on the deadliest day yet in the United States as a whole, as nearly 800 deaths had been announced on Tuesday by the time the President reached the podium at the White House.
"It's a matter of life and death, frankly," Mr. Trump said, as he urged Americans to follow the federal request for people to hold back on their social actions.
By his side again at the White House, both Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx laid out the figures from a series of studies, which predicted that between 100,000 and 240,000 Americans could die - many in the next few weeks.
Birx and Fauci repeatedly emphasized that if Americans do their part to hold down the spread of the virus, that will in turn allow many people to survive.
Asked about deaths of 100,000 or more, health officials did not mince words as to whether it might or might not happen.
"The answer is yes," said Dr. Fauci. "As sobering a number as that is, we should be prepared for it."