"This will probably be the toughest week between this week and next week. And, there will be a lot of death, unfortunately, but a lot less death than if this wasn't done," Anadolu Agency quoted him as saying at a White House's COVID-19 task force news conference.
His remarks came as the country's death toll approached 8,200 and diagnosed cases near 305,000.
So far, 14,500 people have recovered.
The doctor leading the White House's coronavirus response team, Deborah Birx, presented a model Wednesday for the potential number of deaths from the virus in the U.S.
It showed between 100,000 and 240,000 could die if the U.S. follows social distancing and public health guidelines. Without any intervention, the model forecasts 1.5 to 2 million deaths.
The U.S. has become the country with the most confirmed coronavirus infections, followed by Spain and Italy with 124,700 and 124,600, according to a running tally by Johns Hopkins University. – BERNAMA