A Navy ship with 1,000 hospital beds arrived in New York City’s harbor, and the nation’s premiere public health expert vigorously defended President Donald Trump’s decision to extend social distancing and self-isolation measures as a battle to contain the coronavirus gained steam Monday.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on CNN that coronavirus infections and deaths have not begun decreasing “within the time frame that was originally estimated.” Fauci said he showed Trump the data and the president quickly agreed with the recommendation to extend the guidelines through the end of April.

“It would not have been a good idea to pull back at a time when you really needed to be pressing your foot on the pedal as opposed to on the brakes,” Fauci said.

The U.S. death total stood at more than 2,500 people; there are more than 143,000 confirmed cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University data dashboard. Just last week, Trump said he wanted the country – most notably, the economy – “raring to go” by Easter. That was before Fauci said Sunday that 100,000 to 200,000 Americans could die because of the virus.

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