WASHINGTON — For weeks, President Donald Trump carved out a trail of groundless assurances about the coronavirus pandemic as health officials, governors and local officials sounded alarm about what was coming — and already here. That sunlit trail now has hit a wall. On Sunday, Trump appeared to be bracing the country for a grim death toll as he accepted the advice of public-health experts and gave up on letting federal social-distance guidelines lapse Monday as initially intended. In doing so, he acknowledged what his officials had told him — that 100,000 people or many more could die from COVID-19 in the U.S. before it’s over. And he recognized it won’t be over for some time. A look at some of his statements over the past week as a reality check caught up with him: NATIONAL SHUTDOWN TRUMP: “I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.” — Fox News virtual town hall Tuesday. TRUMP: “We have to open up our country, I’m sorry.” — conference call with governors Tuesday, audio of which was obtained by The Associated Press. THE FACTS: The public-health community, governors and many others knew when they heard Trump


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