WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is urging Americans to heed his administration's guidelines for responding to the coronavirus pandemic, calling it “a matter of life and death.”

The president's warning on Tuesday came with new projections that there could be 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. even if social distancing guidelines are maintained.

Public health officials stressed that the number could be less if people bear down on keeping their distance from one another.

The coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, Dr. Deborah Birx, says officials believe the nation can do much better than the grim forecast if everyone takes seriously their role in preventing the spread of disease.

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