But if people are told they can head back to work, commuting by bus or subway while thousands of new infections are confirmed each day, “the virus will surge, many will fall ill and there will be more deaths,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a preventive medicine expert at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Amir Attaran, a professor of law and medicine at the University of Ottawa, was even more pessimistic. “Nobody voted in Donald Trump thinking he would become a ‘one-man death panel’ empowered to dispense with American lives like cannon fodder,” he said. “It would be political suicide for him and murder for many others.”…

“This disease will not respect state borders and city borders, and will move around this country just like it’s moved around the world,” said Tom Inglesby, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security…

“Things are going to get worse before they get better,” Dr. Rabinowitz said. “This is no time to be planning to relax the U.S. social distancing measures.”

Dr. Keith Martin, a physician who heads the Consortium of Universities for Global Health, said simply that if restrictions were lifted prematurely, “President Trump will have blood on his hands.”