The prospect of resuming typical business so soon has horrified these public health leaders, who see the debate as premature amid a crisis that the administration is just beginning to wrangle, according to eight people with knowledge of the administration’s discussions about its coronavirus guidelines.

Health experts are contending the fallout will be worse if the White House declares victory now, only to have the virus resurface weeks or months from now. The government, they argue, has yet to definitively answer key questions that would dictate how to reactivate the economy: Do those who recover from coronavirus become immune? How do underlying health conditions affect the severity of the virus? And, most important, how widely has it spread?…

Any lifting of restrictions would happen gradually, people familiar with the discussions said, given the uncertainty about how case counts nationwide could grow over the next several weeks and widespread concerns about hospital capacity.

One option would be for the White House to offer guidance that huge swathes of the country return to business as usual, while hard hit states like New York and Washington remain under a greater lockdown, said three people briefed on the White House’s internal discussions.