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He said he expects a vaccine will be available by the end of the year.

During Monday's town hall from the Lincoln Memorial, Mr Trump also increased his projection for the total United States death total to 80,000 or 90,000 - up by more than 20,000 fatalities from what he had suggested just a few weeks ago - and struck a note of urgency over the economy, declaring "we have to reopen our country".

"The closest would be that gentleman right up there", Trump said during his Fox News Town Hall with Baier and MacCallum, focused on reopening America during the coronavirus outbreak.

He added: "This is a very disgusting thing we're fighting".

The president said the death toll could have been more drastic if his administration did not take swift action. This should've been stopped in China", he said, adding, "If we didn't do it, the minimum we would have lost was a million two, a million four, a million five - that's the minimum.

But he struck a note of urgency to restart the nation's economy, declaring, "We have to get it back open safely but as quickly as possible".

For weeks, Trump has blamed China for the crisis that has killed at least 67,682 people in the US.

Asked why United States antibiotics are produced in China, he said: "It's not only China".

"I am greeted with a hostile press the likes of which no president has ever seen", Trump said, sitting in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial. "I think we'll a vaccine sooner rather than later".

"We are pushing supply lines".

Ambassador Mulhall responded on Twitter, saying there are more than 750 U.S. companies with investments in Ireland from where they export to the European Union and beyond, adding supply chains have remained functioning during the pandemic.

In an assessment that clashes with those of some public health experts, Trump said he believed that by the end of the year there would be a vaccine against COVID-19.

"We can't stay closed as a country (or) we're not gonna have a country left", Donald Trump said.

"I think that will be done". "We may have to put out a fire", he said. He was also asked about the demonstrations being held to protest COVID-19 mitigation rules, despite the coronavirus continuing to spread.

Despite the ongoing warnings, Trump insisted on February 26 that the number of coronavirus cases "within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero".

Asked if he wanted the USA to develop the vaccine before any other country, the President replied: "I don't care, I just want to get a vaccine that works", adding "if it's another country I'll take my hat off".