Donald Trump said he wants the US economy running again by Easter, and that the coronavirus "cure is worse than the problem".
The US President wants America to return to business by April 12, as the coronavirus pandemic deepens.
"I would love to have the country opened up and raring to go by Easter," Trump said in a Fox News interview.
Health officials and politicians warned against relaxing US restrictions too early for fear or even more deaths and a worse economic fallout.
But Trump said he believed if citizens continued to stay at home, the impact on society would be greater.
"This cure is worse than the problem," Trump said, adding that "in my opinion, more people are going to die if we allow this to continue."
US media reported that a White House official said the president does not believe he can reopen all businesses by Easter, but he can have the economy "speeding again".
Trump told Fox News later that he was targeting Easter because it was a "very special" day for him.
"You will have packed churches all over our country, I think it would be a beautiful time and it is just about the timeline that I think is right," he said.
He added that people could continue to practice good hygiene and social distancing even while going back to work.
But shortly before the Fox News town hall event, New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York asked Trump not to risk lives by rushing to re-open the economy.
Trump's comments mean he hopes to loosen restrictions much sooner than medical officers as well as local and state leaders would like.