The US is heading into what could be its toughest week as coronavirus cases swell nationwide, Donald Trump has said.
In a dismal start to his daily briefing on the pandemic, the president said: "There will be a lot of death, unfortunately. There will be death."
He revisited a familiar message, saying he wants to get the economy up and running as soon as possible.
At one point during the unfolding outbreak, Trump had said he had hoped to reopen businesses by Easter, April 12.
He later acknowledged that was not possible, ceding the month of April after seeing rising death toll projections even if restrictive measures remained in place.
But he insisted on Saturday: "We have to vanquish the virus as quickly as we can… We have to get back to work."
And just days after extending tough national guidelines until the end of April, he revealed he has been speaking to the leaders of professional sports leagues about filling arenas again as soon as possible.
"This country was not designed to be closed," he said. "The cure cannot be worse than the problem.
"I want fans back in the arenas. Whenever we’re ready, as soon as we can."
The number of people infected in the US has exceeded 300,000, with the death toll climbing past 8,100 – with more than 3,500 of those deaths in New York.