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

2 mins ago - Technology

What a President Biden would mean for tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

A Biden presidency would put the tech industry on stabler ground than it's had with President Trump. Although Biden is unlikely to rein in those Democrats who are itching to regulate the big platforms, he'll almost certainly have other, bigger priorities.

The big picture: Liberal Silicon Valley remains one of Democrats' most reliable sources for big-money donations. But a Biden win offers no guarantee that tech will be able to renew the cozy relationship it had with the Obama White House.

Virtual school is another setback for struggling retail industry

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

A virtual school year will likely push retailers even closer to the brink.

Why it matters: Back-to-school season is the second-biggest revenue generating period for the retail sector, after the holidays. But retailers say typical shopping sprees will be smaller with students learning at home — another setback for their industry, which has seen a slew of store closures and bankruptcy filings since the pandemic hit.

1 hour ago - Health

The pandemic hasn't hampered the health care industry

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The economy has been tanking. Coronavirus infections and deaths have been rising. And the health care industry is as rich as ever.

The big picture: Second-quarter results are still pouring in, but so far, a vast majority of health care companies are reporting profits that many people assumed would not have been possible as the pandemic raged on.