The U.S. has passed its peak in new coronavirus cases, the nation's president said Wednesday.
Speaking during a White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing, Donald Trump said new cases are declining in the New York metropolitan area, the city of Houston, Texas and the city of New Orleans in Louisiana and cases in Detroit and the Denver metro area are flat.
"The battle continues, but the latest data suggests nationwide that the U.S. has passed the peak on new cases. Hopefully, that would continue and we will continue to make great progress," said Trump.
He also said Washington D.C., Baltimore, Maryland and Philadelphia are "showing great signs of progress."
"These encouraging developments have put us in a very strong position to finalize guidelines for states on reopening the country," said Trump.
The president said the new guidelines would be announced Thursday afternoon.
During his remarks, Trump also said he will use his constitutional authority to adjourn Congress and make recess appointments if Senate Democrats do not vote on his nominees.
"The Senate should either fulfill its duty and vote on my nominees or it should formally adjourn so that I can make recess appointments," he said. "If the House will not agree to that adjournment, I will exercise my constitutional authority to adjourn both chambers.”
"We need these people here. We need people for this crisis, and we don't want to play any more political games," he added.
Nearly 28,000 people have died in the U.S. from the novel coronavirus, with almost 635,000 confirmed cases and over 52,000 recoveries.
Globally, the virus, officially known as COVID-19, has infected more than 2 million people and has claimed an excess of 133,000 lives, according to figures compiled by U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
More than half a million have recovered.
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