Americans are waking up to the latest White House estimate that 100,000 to 240,000 Americans are expected to die in the next few weeks.
That forecast depends on people strictly following social distancing and isolation guidelines, US health officials warn, and could climb even higher if people do not heed federal guidelines, which have been extended to 30 April.
“This is going to be a very, very painful two weeks,” President Trump warned at a briefing on Tuesday night, where the latest death toll projection was announced.
For Mr Trump, the dire message was a change in tack for a leader who had been downplaying the severity of the coronavirus pandemic even as it rampaged across the world.
Only last week, Mr Trump was comparing the virus to the seasonal flu, the BBC’s Anthony Zurcher reports.