Asserting that the United States has flattened the curve on coronavirus, President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the country is now in the next stage of the battle, which is a 'very safe phased and gradual reopening'.
"Thanks to the profound commitment of our citizens, we have flattened the curve and countless American lives have been saved. Our country is now in the next stage of the battle. A very safe, phased and gradual reopening of our country," Trump said in his remarks at Honeywell International in Phoenix.
According to the John Hopkins University, which tracks coronavirus patients, by Tuesday, more than 71,000 Americans had died due to the deadly virus and over 12 lakh had tested positive.
However, there has been a sharp decline in the number of new cases and deaths in the country in the last one week, prompting Trump to say that the country has been able to flatten the curve.
This pandemic, he said, has underscored the vital importance of reassuring US supply chains and constructing a powerful domestic manufacturing base.
"I have been talking about that for a long time. Oftentimes, you would see a plant like this at a different country doing the work you can be doing, and you will do it better," the President said.
"The United States declared its independence nearly 250 years ago, but in recent decades, Washington politicians allowed our independence to be offshored, outsourced and ceded to foreign countries. But we are taking it back and we have been taking it back. And you look at our job numbers, you knew that we were taking it back," Trump said.
As such his administration believes in two simple rules -- buy American and hire Americans, he added.
"The people of our country are warriors. With your help, we will vanquish the virus and build a future of greatness and glory with American heart, American hands, American pride and American soul," he said.
Referring to his visit to the Honeywell factory that is producing masks, Trump said they are producing high-quality N95 respirators.
"There is no bad mask like various countries have been sent some very bad masks from other places. There is nothing like that at Honeywell. Respirators are there to protect our heroic doctors and nurses as they fight the unseen enemy," he said.
"More than 150 Honeywell employees are working around the clock, three shifts a day, six days a week. Think of this what you have done. You are part of this incredible industrial mobilisation, the biggest since World War II. Hard to believe for an invisible enemy, but it is a vicious enemy, smart enemy," he said.
"Like generations of patriots before you, the workers of this factory are pouring their heart and soul and blood into defending our nation and keeping our people healthy and safe," the President said.
Earlier, participating in a roundtable discussion with Native Americans, Trump described the coronavirus as a tough opponent.
"But we are winning and starting to see our country come back," he added.
"It has been a very exciting few days. We are starting to see it all come back. We are improving the lives of Native American families and tribes more than any administration has ever done," Trump said.
But the mission is not accomplished yet, he added.
"Mission accomplished is when it is over. When it is over, mission accomplished," the President said.
The United States, he said, is now helping various countries, including providing them with essential medical supplies like ventilators.
"We have more ventilators now than anybody in the world and we are helping France, as you know. We are helping France, Italy, Spain, Nigeria. We are giving I think 250 to Nigeria. We have many countries that we are helping," he said.
Trump, White House dismiss data predicting surge in deaths
President Trump and the White House on Tuesday rejected a report suggesting the daily US death toll due to the coronavirus could reach 3,000 in June.
In its report, Johns Hopkins University projected new coronavirus cases in the US reaching 200,000 daily by June 1 and fatalities around 3,000.
"Those projections are with no mitigation. We are doing mitigation," Trump told reporters before boarding Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on his way to Arizona.
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said that the Johns Hopkins' study being pushed around by the media as factual is based on faulty assumptions and is in no way representative of any federal government projections.
John Hopkins University in a separate statement said that the research conducted by it for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was to assist in planning for various scenarios and was not to be used for the official forecast.
The New York Times was the first newspaper to report about it on Monday.
"As Johns Hopkins stated, should not be taken as a forecast," McEnany said.
"This study considered zero mitigation, meaning it was conducted as though no federal guidelines were in place, no contract tracing, no expansion of testing, while removing all shelter in place protocols laid out in the phased approach of the Opening Up America Again guidelines for individuals with co-morbidities," she said.
"The media should be more responsible in its reporting and give the full set of information to the American public," McEnany said.