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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN Monday that President Trump decided to extend social distancing restrictions for another 30 days after viewing models projecting coronavirus deaths over the weekend.

Why it matters: The models project that the virus will infect millions of Americans and could kill 100,000 to 200,000 even with current guidelines in place, Fauci said Sunday.

What he's saying:

"[The president's] first goal is to prevent suffering and death. And we made it very clear to him that if we pulled back on what we were doing and didn't extend [the guidelines], there would be more avoidable suffering and avoidable death. So, it was a pretty clear decision on his part.
"We showed him the data, he looked at the data, and he got it right away. It was a pretty clear picture. Dr. Deborah Birx and I went in together into the Oval Office and leaned over the desk and said, 'Here are the data. Take a look.' He looked at them. He understood them, and he just shook his head and said, 'I guess we got to do it.'"
— Dr. Anthony Fauci

The big picture: Fauci said he believes it would have been the wrong decision to relax restrictions.

  • Last week, Trump suggested reopening parts of the economy on Easter (April 12) despite warnings from health officials that loosening restrictions could cause the number of coronavirus cases to skyrocket.
  • "We're not economists. We're sensitive that the idea that the economy could suffer, but it was patently obvious looking at the data that at the end of the day if we try to push back prematurely not only would we lose lives, but it would hurt the economy," Fauci told CNN.

Go deeper ... The next American struggle: Waiting out the coronavirus

Go deeper

Texas Republicans pass new congressional maps in their favor

Photo: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Texas House voted 84-59 late Monday to approve new congressional district maps that reduce the number of districts with Black and Hispanic majorities, per the Texas Tribune.

Why it matters: The legislation comes after recent census figures found Texas' growing diverse population doesn't bode well for Republicans, who then worked to protect incumbents with the redrawn maps.

2 hours ago - World

North Korea's military fires another ballistic missile into sea

A woman in Seoul, South Korea, walks past a television image if North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Photo: Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images

North Korea's military fired at least one ballistic missile into the sea off its east coast on Tuesday, per multiple reports.

Why it matters: Pyongyang's latest in a series of recent missile launches happened hours after U.S. officials emphasized their commitment to restart negotiations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, which have stalled since talks broke down during the Trump administration, AP notes.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump sues National Archives, Jan. 6 committee to block records request

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block the National Archives from releasing White House records to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, citing executive privilege.

Why it matters: It's the latest escalation in Trump's campaign to disrupt the committee's sweeping probe into the circumstances surrounding Jan. 6, including his actions and communications leading up to the Capitol attack.