WASHINGTON—President Trump’s aspirational plan to restart the U.S. economy by mid-April ran into a major obstacle: Dr. Anthony Fauci.

After Mr. Trump envisioned packed churches on Easter, Dr. Fauci went to the Oval Office. He and Dr. Deborah Birx, members of the White House coronavirus task force, outlined data projecting a surge in cases without continued social distancing. The president agreed.


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