Trump would like to see portions of country “reopened” by Easter

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR/AP) — President Donald Trump said he has set a goal as to when some of the country can begin getting back to normal following the shutdown due to the COVID-19 coronavirus.

During a daily briefing from the White House, Trump set an Easter deadline for some restrictions to be lifted, adding “We’re working very hard to make that a reality.”

“Ultimately the goal is to ease the guidelines and open things up to very large sections of our country as we near the end of our historic battle with the invisible enemy,” Trump said during a White House briefing Tuesday. “It’ll go on for a while, but we’ll win. We’ll win.”

Later in the briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, called the goal, which is 19 days from Tuesday, “very flexible.”

“You can look at a date, but you have to be very flexible, on a day-by-day and week-by-week basis,” he said.

Administration officials also encouraged anyone in or who has traveled from the New York City area to self-isolate for 14 days.

“Because of the spread in New York City, we will continue to surge resources there,” Vice President Mike Pence said during the briefing.

Pence said New York has reported 60 percent of the country’s new cases of the coronavirus.

Infections in the U.S. have reached nearly 50,000, including more than 600 deaths from novel coronavirus.

New York State has recorded more than 200 deaths–one-third of the U.S. total. The number of cases in New York City is doubling every three days, threatening to swamp the city’s intensive care units in the weeks ahead.

In a first-of-its kind postponement, the International Olympic Committee announced the Summer Olympics will be postponed until 2021.

In Washington, top congressional and White House officials said they expect to reach a deal on a package to help businesses and send relief checks to Americans of $1,200 per person or $3,000 for a family of four.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

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