Despite earlier dismissals of the outbreaks and optimistic plans for reopening the American economy, President Trump has offered a bleak forecast for the coming days as the U.S. grapples with coronavirus.

Speaking on Saturday at a press briefing, Trump suggested that the coming week would be “one of the toughest” for the U.S. so far, adding that many deaths should be expected. He also added that, with many parts of the country predicted to reach their peak in cases, this coming week could be the deadliest yet.

“There's going to be a lot of death, unfortunately,” Trump said. “There will be a lot of deaths.”

While offering this bleak forecast, Trump nonetheless continued to bemoan the effects of social distancing on the economy.

Trump had previously called for the economy to reopen by Easter weekend to avoid too steep of an economic impact, despite medical experts and epidemiologists calling this a far too optimistic timeframe that would result in further deaths.

“We cannot let this continue,” Trump said Saturday. "So at a certain point, some hard decisions are going to have to be made."

After an initially slow and dismissive response to the spread of COVID-19 from the federal government, the U.S. has now become the epicenter of the worldwide outbreak.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. has seen 321,762 confirmed cases of the virus, well over double the likes of Spain at 130,759 and China, the birthplace of the pandemic, at 124,632. The country has so far seen over 9,300 deaths and nearly 253,000 recoveries.

US President Donald Trump warned Americans to expect a "tough week" ahead
US President Donald Trump warned Americans to expect a "tough week" ahead AFP / JIM WATSON