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“We’ve got to get the country open,” Trump says as coronavirus cases top 300,000 nationwide

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(CBS News) President Trump emphasized the need to “get back to work” at a Coronavirus Task Force meeting as the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country topped 300,000.

“The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself, we’ve got to get our country open,” Mr. Trump insisted. 

Health experts have warned that stay-at-home orders are the most effective way to stop the spread of the virus, but Mr. Trump said he is not in favor of enacting such an order nationwide. Eight states, all of which have Republican governors, have not yet implemented stay-at-home orders. 

With large gatherings essentially banned, Mr. Trump said there is “no contingency plan” for the Republican National Convention, currently scheduled for August 24-27. He said he expected the country to be “in good health” by that time. 

Mr. Trump said he spoke to the heads of professional sports leagues, and while he said “I can’t give you a date” about when various leagues would start up again, he said he “absolutely” wanted fans back in the arenas. “Sports weren’t built for this,” he said. 

California Governor Gavin Newsom said Saturday that he is not anticipating professional sports would start up anytime soon in the state. He warned he would move “very cautiously in that expectation. Our decision on that basis will be determined by the facts, the health experts, by our capacity to bend the curve, testing to confidently determine whether that’s appropriate.”

In New York, the current epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, Governor Andrew Cuomo said he expected the crisis to peak in 4-8 days. But, he warned, the state is “not ready” for the apex. 

The number of U.S. cases is more than double the amount of the next-highest country, Spain, which has more than 124,000 confirmed cases. In Spain, meanwhile,  Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said Saturday the country is “close to passing the peak of infections” as the number of coronavirus deaths fell for the second day in a row. In one day, 809 died, the lowest death toll in Spain in a week. 

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