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Trump Says The U.S. Is Past Its Peak On New Coronavirus Cases

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President Trump on Wednesday said that recent data suggest that the United States has made it through the worst of new coronavirus cases, as he seeks to reopen the pandemic-beaten national economy.

"The data suggests that nationwide we have passed the peak of new cases. Hopefully that will continue, and we will continue to make great progress," Trump said at the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House Rose Garden.

Trump said that more than 3 million tests for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, had been completed.

He also said he would announce his path to reopening some states ahead of May 1. "These developments have put us in a strong position to finalize guidelines for states reopening," he said.

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Trump's optimistic remarks come on the heels of a contentious week between the president and state governors, following an erroneous declaration earlier this week that he had ability to unilaterally decide when states would ease coronavirus restrictions.

"When somebody's the president of the United States, the authority is total," Trump said in a widely discredited speech on Monday. By Tuesday, he had reversed, saying he would guide the governors but allow them to decide when and how to re-open.

Wednesday's briefing comes after an Easter weekend of COVID-19 fatalities that launched the U.S. death toll to the highest in the world. Still, experts say that efforts to contain the virus seem to be having a positive effect, crediting social distancing measures for helping to slow the disease's spread.

The coronavirus epidemic has devastated the national economy, with some 17 million Americans seeking unemployment benefits in recent weeks.

Trump has said he wants to reopen the nation's economy as soon as possible and has announced a group of industry leaders dedicated to reigniting the country's business prospects.

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This article originally appeared on NPR.org.