WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is projecting 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. from the coronavirus pandemic if current social distancing guidelines are maintained.  The possible death toll is much higher if the social distancing guidelines are relaxed or ended.

President Donald Trump is calling American efforts to slow the spread of the virus "a matter of life and death" and urging the public to heed his administration's guidelines.

Trump is asking Americans to brace themselves for a "rough two-week period," but he predicts the country will soon see a "light at the end of the tunnel" of the global catastrophe that has killed more than 3,500 Americans and infected 170,000 more.

Earlier Tuesday Minnesota state officials said they expected the peak of the hospitalizations in Minnesota to start in about mid-May and last until about mid-June.  They are trying to create at least 2,000 ICU beds in the state before that happens, right now there is only about 260.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

St. Cloud Kids Share Their Optimism Through Sidewalk Chalk Drawings