Donald Trump has said he hopes the US is “starting to see light at the end of the tunnel” after New York, at the epicentre of the country’s coronavirus outbreak, reported a dip in cases.

However, the president said the country will first reach an “horrific point” in terms of death as the virus nears its peak in the US this week after cases topped 330,000 on Sunday.

His optimistic comments came in stark contrast to those of US surgeon general Jerome Adams, who warned Americans to brace for levels of tragedy similar to the September 11 attacks and the bombing of Pearl Harbour in the week ahead.

New York state recorded 594 new coronavirus deaths on Sunday – compared to 630 the day before – but governor Andrew Cuomo said it was too soon to say whether the pandemic had reached its peak.

Americans told to prepare for ‘hardest and saddest week’

The surgeon general has warned Americans to prepare for “our hardest and saddest week” as the US braces for a spike in coronavirus-related deaths.

Jerome Adams told Fox News: “This is going to be our Pearl Harbour moment, our 9/11 moment, only it’s not going to be localised – it’s going to be happening all over the country.” 

The US is entering a crucial two-week period to combat the virus, with nearly comprehensive statewide stay-at-home orders across the US and surges in hospitalisations and patients requiring ventilator support following Covid-19 infection.

Good morning and welcome to today’s live blog.

The US is bracing for a peak in the coronavirus outbreak this week, as cases have topped 330,000 and the death toll has risen to 9,600.

Donald Trump said he was hopeful for “light at the end of the tunnel”, but surgeon general Jerome Adams warned the coming days will be the “hardest and saddest week of most Americans’ lives”.