The director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday he believes 19 or 20 US states have had limited impact from the new coronavirus and their governors believe they may be ready to reopen by President Donald Trump's May 1 target date.
"There are a number of counties within this country that have not experienced really any coronavirus despite testing," Robert Redfield said in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America."
"There are a number of states - 19, 20 states - that really have had limited impact from it. So I think we will see some states that are, the governors feel that they're ready, we're poised to assist them with that reopening," Redfield said.
Trump said at his daily White House briefing Monday evening that he was close to completing a plan for ending America's coronavirus shutdown, which has thrown millions out of work, and may forge ahead with restarting the battered US economy in some parts of the country even before May 1.
The president took renewed aim at the World Health Organization at the briefing, saying he has instructed his administration to halt US funding to the Geneva-based institution over its handling of the pandemic.
Redfield would not directly answer a question about the president's decision but said the CDC and WHO have had a long history of working together on global health outbreaks.
"We've had a very productive public health relationship," he said. "We continue to have that."