Donald Trump, after recently saying up to 200,000 Americans could die from coronavirus, said mitigation efforts should bring the total death toll “substantially” lower.
The president on Friday said federal health officials now expect around 60,000 people to die during the pandemic outbreak, something he credited to Americans being “brave” largely by staying home.
“It looks like we’re headed for a number substantially below the 100,000 mark,” said Mr Trump, who has focused on the death toll more than other matters throughout the outbreak.
On a day when US stock markets were closed due to Good Friday ahead of the Easter holiday, Mr Trump announced the US government will provide an economic package to Mexico as part of a possible deal to stabilise global oil markets, which have been rocked by a dispute between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
The American leader said his administration will send funds to Mexico and that country will cuts its crude oil production by 100,000 barrels, suggesting Saudi and Russian leaders had blamed part of their moves on Mexican production.
In a twist not likely to sit well with his conservative political base, he said of Mexican officials and that coming payment: “They will reimburse us at a later date – we will see how that all works out.”
Such a move likely would have moved stock indexes, which the president again showed are never far from his mind.
“I think the market thinks that we have done well,” Mr Trump said, noting this week’s market rebound is the best such four-day upswing since 1974.