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President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser said the White House estimates it may be able to urge Americans to re-open the U.S. economy in the next four to eight weeks.

The White House hopes that “in the next four to eight weeks, we will be able to open the economy,” Larry Kudlow told Politico on Tuesday.

Kudlow also told Fox News that the White House has begun planning how the U.S. can re-open its economy once the coronavirus outbreak abates, after indications the epicenter in New York may have reached a plateau.

“The president would like to reopen the economy as soon as he can and we are planning internally,” Kudlow said. He said the virus’s spread is the driving force in determining a time line.

“I am hoping – as I say, praying – that we’re only a few weeks away from a reopening. We’ll see,” he said.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday that social distancing practices adopted in the state appear to have leveled off deaths from the virus at fewer than 600 a day, after reaching 630 on Friday.

But state and municipal leaders elsewhere in the country have warned that they have not yet reached the peak of their outbreaks, leaving uncertain when the country could relax the isolation behaviors that have collapsed the U.S. economy.

Trump didn’t lead on social distancing – the federal government issued recommendations that Americans isolate themselves from one another only after many governors, municipal leaders, businesses and households had already started the practices. So it’s not clear that the country would respond if the president began urging Americans to return to work and re-open their businesses while the virus is still circulating.

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