A White House spokesperson on Tuesday said President Donald Trump's handling of the coronavirus pandemic has saved "3 to 4 million lives," more than Trump has previously claimed, as the country's caseload continues to surge.
Speaking at a press briefing, Kayleigh McEnany defended moves earlier this year to shut down the economy to stem the spread of the virus.
"It was the right decision to make. The president saved 3 to 4 million lives," McEnany said, without naming a source for the figure.
She added that "it's important to note the other side of the health equation about what extended lockdowns do to the American people," pointing to a drop in cancer cases being identified. Trump has pushed to restart the economy quickly.
The president has repeatedly said that his administration's actions during the pandemic have saved millions of lives, at times pointing to a study by Imperial College London, which predicted 2.2 million US deaths if the virus were allowed to spread essentially unchecked.
The world's highest caseload
The United States has the world's highest number of reported coronavirus-related deaths at over 141,000, according to a tally by John Hopkins University. The country has recorded over 3.8 million cases.
Florida, California and Texas are among the states seeing steep rises in coronavirus cases.
Trump is set to resume regular media briefings on the outbreak, starting at 5 pm (2100 GMT) on Tuesday, as recent polls have shown his popularity sinking among the electorate, particularly over his handling of the pandemic.