The Trump administration projects about 3,000 daily deaths by early June.
As President Trump presses for states to reopen their economies, his administration is privately projecting a steady rise in the number of cases and deaths from the coronavirus over the next several weeks, reaching about 3,000 daily deaths on June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times, nearly double from the current level of about 1,750.
The projections, based on modeling by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and pulled together in chart form by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases now.
The numbers underscore a sobering reality: While the United States has been hunkered down for the past seven weeks, not much has changed. And the reopening to the economy will make matters worse.
“There remains a large number of counties whose burden continues to grow,” the C.D.C. warned.
The projections confirm the primary fear of public health experts: that a reopening of the economy will put the nation right back where it was in mid-March, when cases were rising so rapidly in some parts of the country that patients were dying on gurneys in hospital hallways as the health care system grew overloaded.
“While mitigation didn’t fail, I think it’s fair to say that it didn’t work as well as we expected,” Scott Gottlieb, Mr. Trump’s former commissioner of food and drugs, said Sunday on the CBS program Face the Nation. “We expected that we would start seeing more significant declines in new cases and deaths around the nation at this point. And we’re just not seeing that.”
On Sunday, Mr. Trump said deaths in the United States could reach 100,000, twice as many as he had forecast just two weeks ago. But his new estimate still underestimates what his own administration is now predicting to be the total death toll by the end of May — much less in the months that follow. It follows a pattern for Mr. Trump, who has frequently understated the impact of the disease.
“We’re going to lose anywhere from 75, 80 to 100,000 people,” he said in a virtual town hall on Fox News. “That’s a horrible thing. We shouldn’t lose one person over this.”
Mr. Gottlieb said Americans “may be facing the prospect that 20,000, 30,000 new cases a day diagnosed becomes the new normal.”
Some states that have partially reopened are still seeing an increase in cases, including Iowa, Minnesota, Tennessee and Texas, according to Times data. Indiana, Kansas and Nebraska also are seeing an increase in cases and reopened some businesses on Monday. Alaska has also reopened and is seeing a small number of increasing cases.
While the country has stabilized, it has not really improved, as shown by data collected by The Times. Case and death numbers remain stuck on a numbing, tragic plateau that is tilting only slightly downward.
At least 1,000 people with the virus, and sometimes more than 2,000, have died every day for the last month. On a near-daily basis, at least 25,000 new cases of the virus are being identified across the country. And even as New York City, New Orleans and Detroit have shown improvement, other urban centers, including Chicago and Los Angeles, are reporting steady growth in cases.
The situation has devolved most dramatically in parts of rural America that were largely spared in the early stages of the pandemic. As food processing facilities and prisons have emerged as some of the country’s largest case clusters, the counties that include Logansport, Ind., South Sioux City, Neb., and Marion, Ohio, have surpassed New York City in cases per capita.
Mr. Trump accused the Chinese government of making a “horrible mistake” in its virus response and of then orchestrating a cover-up that allowed the pathogen to spread around the world.
“My opinion is they made a mistake. They tried to cover it, they tried to put it out. It’s like a fire,” Mr. Trump said on Sunday night during a virtual town hall on Fox News. “You know, it’s really like trying to put out a fire. They couldn’t put out the fire.”
“We’re going to be giving a very strong report as to exactly what we think happened,” Mr. Trump said. “And I think it will be very conclusive.”
Speaking on the ABC program “This Week,” Mr. Pompeo, the former C.I.A. chief and one of the senior administration officials who is most hawkish on dealing with China, said that there was “enormous evidence” that the virus came from the lab but then declined to provide any details. He also said he agreed with the intelligence assessment.
The theories are not mutually exclusive: Some officials who have examined the intelligence reports, which remain classified, say it is possible that an animal infected with the virus in the laboratory was destroyed and that a lab worker was accidentally infected in the process. But that is just one of many theories still being examined.
China has previously denied the virus originated in a laboratory.
The editor in chief of The Global Times, a nationalist tabloid controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, condemned the U.S. administration for making accusations without presenting evidence.
“Don’t just say there’s enormous evidence, Pompeo should present them to the world,” the editor, Hu Xijin, wrote on Twitter. “By demanding to investigate Wuhan lab they are trying to create continuous controversy and focus, to fool the American public.”
China’s state-run news agency Xinhua released an animated video featuring Lego-like figures representing the two countries mocking the United States response to the virus.
It is not just the Trump administration that has been increasingly critical of China.
The Times’s chief diplomatic correspondent for Europe, Steven Erlanger, reports that a backlash across the globe is building against Beijing for its initial mishandling of the crisis, creating a deeply polarizing battle of narratives and setting back China’s ambition to fill the leadership vacuum left by the United States.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. played traffic cop. Justice Clarence Thomas asked his first questions in more than a year. Justice Sonia Sotomayor disappeared for a few moments, apparently having failed to unmute her phone.
On the whole, the Supreme Court’s first argument held by telephone went smoothly, with the justices asking short bursts of quick questions, one by one, in order of seniority, as the world, also for the first time, listened in.
The argument Monday morning began with the traditional chant. “Oyez! Oyez! Oyez!,” said Pamela Talkin, the marshal of the court. But that was almost the only traditional thing about it.
Chief Justice Roberts asked the first questions and then called on his colleagues. When lawyers gave extended answers, he cut them off and asked the next justice to ask questions.
The question before the court was whether an online hotel reservation company, Booking.com, may trademark its name. Generic terms cannot be trademarked, and all concerned agreed that “booking,” standing alone, is generic. The question for the justices was whether the addition of “.com” changed the analysis.
The court will hear 10 cases by phone over the next two weeks, including three on May 12 about subpoenas from prosecutors and Congress seeking President Trump’s financial records, which could yield a politically explosive decision this summer as the presidential campaign enters high gear.
The justices may not return to the bench in October if the virus is still a threat, as several of them are in the demographic group thought to be most at risk. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is 87, and Justice Stephen G. Breyer is 81. Four additional members of the court — Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Sonia Sotomayor — are 65 or older.
The cruise giant Carnival Corporation said on Monday that it planned to reopen cruising on eight of its ships before the end of the summer.
While it has canceled service on some of its cruise lines through September, Carnival said it would offer cruises from ports in Miami, Galveston and Port Canaveral, Fla., on Aug. 1.
Carnival, the world’s largest cruise line, has been at the center of the coronavirus pandemic since the beginning, widely blamed for a series of major outbreaks that spread the disease across the world. Last week, Congress began investigating the company’s handling of the virus, asking it to turn over internal communications related to the pandemic.
In its statement on Monday, Carnival said that all North American cruises set to depart between June 27 and July 31 would be canceled.
“We will use this additional time to continue to engage experts, government officials and stakeholders on additional protocols and procedures to protect the health and safety of our guests, crew and the communities we serve,” the company said.
The top House Republican pushed back on Monday against efforts by Democratic leaders to move the chamber toward remote legislating and teleworking amid the crisis, laying out a detailed plan for reopening Congress for regular business.
With the House in an extended recess on the advice of Congress’s top doctor, Republicans laid out their plan for meeting during the pandemic and called on Democrats to quickly agree to a path to reconvening.
“The business of the people’s House is ‘essential work’ that must not be sidelined or ground to a halt,” Representative Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California and minority leader, and two of his deputies, wrote in a letter laying out the plan.
They urged caution on adopting new rules to allow House members to vote by proxy from outside of Washington and committees to meet virtually, the centerpieces of Democrats’ proposal for shifting to a remote form of business while the virus continues to spread throughout the country, including the capital.
“Before we rush to discard over 200 years of precedent, we should require that rigorous testing standards be met, ample feedback be provided, and bipartisan rules of the road be agreed upon and made public to truly safeguard minority rights,” the Republicans wrote.
After weeks of sporadic meetings and curtailed operations, the Senate was set to return on Monday, with new social distancing and other health precautions in place.
The full Senate was to reconvene for the first time in a month to restart the process of confirming federal judges and Trump administration nominees, beginning with a vote Monday afternoon on the nominee inspector general for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Republican leaders planned to put in place new guidelines that limit how many staff aides are working and prevent crowding in hearing rooms, offices and the Senate floor.
In the House, the Republicans called for measures “to reduce density and congestion in every facet of our work,” like staggering how many members are on the chamber floor at once and using bigger hearing rooms. Leaders should start by calling back to Washington certain committees with necessary business, like the annual defense policy bill and government spending bills, the Republicans suggested.
The Food and Drug Administration announced on Monday that companies selling coronavirus antibody tests must submit data proving accuracy within the next 10 days or face removal from the market.
The antibody tests are an effort to detect whether a person had been infected with the virus, but results have been widely varied and little is known about whether those who became ill will develop immunity and, if so, for how long.
Since mid-March, the agency has permitted dozens of manufacturers to sell the tests without providing evidence that they are accurate — and many are wildly off the mark.
The F.D.A.’s action follows a report by more than 50 scientists, which found that only three out of 14 antibody tests gave consistently reliable results, and even the best had flaws. An evaluation by the National Institutes of Health has also found “a concerning number” of commercial tests that are performing poorly, the agency said.
Around the globe, government and health officials have hoped that antibody tests would be a critical tool to help determine when it would be safe to lift stay-at-home restrictions and reopen businesses. The highly infectious Covid-19 disease has now killed nearly 70,000 people and sickened more than 1.1 million in the United States alone.
While 11 companies have been given F.D.A. clearance to sell the antibody tests, many other products do not have agency authorization. The result has been a confusing landscape in which tests by established companies such as Abbott Laboratories, Cellex and most recently, Roche Diagnostics, are competing with unapproved tests made by unknown companies and sold by U.S. distributors with spotty track records.
In a statement on Monday, Dr. Anand Shah, the F.D.A. deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs, and Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, director of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, defended the agency’s initial policy saying the tests were never intended to be used as the sole basis for determining whether anyone had been infected.
“We unfortunately see unscrupulous actors marketing fraudulent test kits and using the pandemic as an opportunity to take advantage of Americans’ anxiety,” they said in the statement. “Some test developers have falsely claimed their serology tests are F.D.A. approved or authorized. Others have false claimed that their tests can diagnose Covid-19 or that they are for at-home testing.”
Dr. Shah and Dr. Shuren also pointed to the N.I.H. evaluation that showed a number of tests producing faulty results. The F.D.A. declined to provide details on the number of tests that were studied, or how many did not work. They also said that the F.D.A. is reviewing more than 200 antibody tests to determine whether they work well enough to get the agency’s go-ahead.
After a wave of reopenings over the weekend, at least six more states will begin allowing certain businesses to open back up on Monday, the latest expansion in economic activity despite rising coronavirus cases.
In Florida, restaurants, stores, museums and libraries are allowed to reopen with fewer customers, except in the most populous counties, which have seen a majority of the state’s cases. Restrictions on certain businesses or parts of the state were also lifted in Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and West Virginia.
About half of all states have now begun reopening their economies in some significant way, introducing a pivotal new chapter. Some states have lifted stay-at-home orders or reopened businesses even though reported new cases are rising or remaining steady. Public health experts have warned that reopening too soon could lead to a new wave of cases and deaths.
“The fact remains that the vast majority of Americans have not been exposed to the virus, there is not immunity, and the initial conditions that allowed this virus to spread really quickly across America haven’t really changed,” said Dr. Larry Chang, an infectious-diseases specialist at Johns Hopkins University.
Though businesses are almost universally reopening under restrictions, such as allowing fewer customers or enforcing social distancing, experts say it’s too soon to tell how much that will help stop the spread of the virus. “Reopening is not a one-way street,” Dr. Chang said. “If there is a surge in cases, you may need to clamp down again.”
Officials in Miami Beach said Monday that they would again close a popular park after “not everyone followed the rules put in place” to curb the spread of the virus. According to the local authorities, park rangers at the city’s parks issued 7,329 warnings about face coverings and 478 concerning social distancing across Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York listed seven requirements on Monday that a region of the state will have to meet before it is allowed to reopen:
He said that some parts of the state would probably meet those thresholds a lot sooner than others.
The governor reported 226 more deaths in the state — the lowest one-day figure since March 28 and down more than 70 percent from early April, when nearly 800 people per day were dying of the virus. The number of hospitalized patients with the virus and the number of new admissions to hospitals also continued to fall, though much more gradually than they had increased.
Largely confined to their homes and worried about the spread of the virus and its risks to their own health or that of loved ones, a segment of the United States has turned informant, calling the police, public health authorities and the employers of people they believe are violating social-distancing decrees or stay-at-home orders.
These complaints have led to shut downs of dog groomers and massage parlors as well as citations and police scoldings to restaurant and bar owners whose patrons are lingering too close to one another.
The citizen action comes into direct conflict with new and mounting calls for the economy to reopen. In one instance, a Wisconsin doctor was photographed at a rally protesting a stay-at-home order, without a mask and arm-in-arm with a fellow demonstrator. The photo was shared on Facebook, and the doctor was suspended by his hospital for a week.
But such reporting also has occurred in more local ways, with neighborhood websites that once served as bulletin boards for lost cats or plumber recommendations now becoming social distancing complaint boxes.
And as Mr. Trump and many Republican governors aggressively push to reopen businesses and some Democratic officials call for continued restraint, the actions are sometimes becoming politicized.
Some liberals said they think that calling out violators is a civic duty and a matter of public health. But Vicki McKenna, a conservative talk radio host in Wisconsin who has promoted rallies resisting the state’s shutdown orders, likened the outing of social-distancing offenders to the actions of informants in a totalitarian state.
“There’s a creepy Orwellian sensibility people have,” she said.
Housing for the homeless. Criminal justice reform. Addressing the digital divide for schoolchildren in rural areas.
Propelled by the urgency of the coronavirus crisis, and despite severe economic headwinds, liberal Californians see this moment as an opening to push through an agenda that addresses some of the state’s most intractable and long-debated problems.
Already, thousands of people have been let out of the state’s jails and prisons, cash bail has been eliminated for most crimes, thousands of homeless people now have roofs over their heads, and children in rural and poor areas of the state are being sent tens of thousands of laptop computers for distance learning — temporary measures to confront the pandemic that leaders are hoping will become durable solutions to longstanding problems of inequity.
While many in the country talk about returning to normal, a common refrain is emerging among California’s powerful political left wing and many liberal leaders across America: Normal wasn’t working.
“We are doing things today that should have been done a long time ago,” said George Gascon, a former San Francisco district attorney who is now running for the same office in Los Angeles, and who has been at the vanguard of a national movement of prosecutors looking to reduce mass incarceration. “The reset button was pushed, and I don’t see us coming back.”
An Amazon executive quit over the firings of employees who protested.
A vice president of Amazon’s cloud computing arm said on Monday that he had quit “in dismay” over the recent firings of workers who had raised questions about workplace safety during the coronavirus pandemic.
Tim Bray, an engineer who had been a vice president of Amazon Web Services, wrote in a blog post that his last day at the company was on Friday. He criticized a number of recent firings by Amazon, including that of an employee in a Staten Island warehouse, Christian Smalls, who had led a protest in March calling for the company to provide workers with more protections.
Mr. Bray, who had worked for the company for more than five years, called the fired workers whistle-blowers, and said that firing them was “evidence of a vein of toxicity running through the company culture.”
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The modern corporate office is renowned for open, collaborative work spaces and standing desks with room for two giant computer monitors.
Soon, there may be a new must-have perk: the sneeze guard.
This plexiglass barrier that can be mounted on a desk is one of many ideas being mulled by employers as they contemplate a return to the office after lockdowns. Their post-pandemic makeovers may include hand sanitizers built into desks that are positioned at 90-degree angles or that are enclosed by translucent plastic partitions; outdoor gathering space to allow collaboration without viral transmission; and windows that actually open, for freer air flow.
The conversation about how to reconfigure the American office is taking place throughout the business world, and the question is whether any of the changes being contemplated will actually result in safer workplaces.
“We are not infectious disease experts, we are simply furniture people,” said Tracy D. Wymer, vice president for workplace at Knoll, a company that makes office furniture and has been engaged by anxious clients to come up with ways to make workplaces less of a health risk.
The actual disease experts say that a virus-free office environment is a pipe dream. Dr. Rajneesh Behal, an internal medicine physician and the chief quality officer of One Medical, a primary-care chain that recently held a webinar for businesses on how to reopen, said, “A core message is, do not expect your risk goes down to zero.”
On Sunday, Mr. Pence said he had made a mistake.
“I didn’t think it was necessary, but I should have worn a mask at the Mayo Clinic and I wore it when I visited the ventilator plant in Indiana,” he said during an appearance on Fox News.
New York’s governor, who made it a requirement that people in the state wear masks in public if they were in a situation where they could not social distance, said that it was “a sign of respect” to don the protective gear, showing that you care not only about your own health but about the well-being of your neighbor.
Across the country, the decision to wear or not wear a mask can result in dirty looks, angry words, raw emotions and, at times, confrontations that have escalated into violence.
The decision not to wear a mask has, for some, become a rebellion against what they regard as an incursion on their personal liberties. For many others, the choice is a casual one more about convenience than politics. The choice can also be a reflection of vanity, or of not understanding when or where to wear one. Some people said they found masks uncomfortable, and thus a nuisance they were unwilling to tolerate. Others were skeptical about how much difference they made outside on a sunny day.
At least 12 countries began easing restrictions on public life on Monday, as the world tried to figure out how to placate restless populations tired of being inside and reboot stalled economies without creating opportunities for the virus to re-emerge.
The steps, which include reopening schools and allowing airports to begin domestic service, offer the rest of the world a preview of how areas that have managed to blunt the toll might work toward resuming their pre-pandemic lives. They also serve as test cases for whether the countries can maintain their positive momentum through the reopenings, or if the desire for normalcy could place more people at risk.
Most of the countries easing their restrictions are in Europe, including Italy, one of the places where the virus hit earliest and hardest, leaving more than 28,000 dead. The country plans to reopen some airports to passengers.
In Lebanon, bars and restaurants will reopen, while Poland plans to allow patrons to return to hotels, museums and shops.
India allowed businesses, local transportation and activities like weddings to resume in areas with few or no known infections. Wedding ceremonies with fewer than 50 guests would be permitted and self-employed workers like maids and plumbers can return to work.
Reporting was contributed by Alan Blinder, Eileen Sullivan, Michael Cooper, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Brooks Barnes, David Sanger, Marc Santora, Peter Baker, Adam Liptak, Rick Rojas, Jonah Engel Bromwich, Tracey Tully, Caitlin Dickerson, Michael D. Shear, Dionne Searcey, Reid J. Epstein, Patricia Mazzei, Sarah Mervosh, Matt Richtel, Nicholas Fandos and Neil Vigdor.