He also told reporters they should look into a purported disappearance of masks from NY hospitals.
The strict stay-at-home rules meant that usually bustling NY, like many major cities in the United States, was largely quiet on Sunday except for the sound of ambulance sirens. By nightfall, under intense criticism, he backed down.
Dr. Fauci, who was also at Trump's Sunday briefing, told CNN earlier Sunday that models predicting a million or more USA deaths were "not impossible, but very, very unlikely".
Medical professionals and public-health experts were apoplectic.
'We argued strongly with the president that he not withdraw those guidelines after 15 days, but that he extend them. The United States continues to lead in coronavirus cases with over 143,000 known infections - though the true number is certain to be much higher - and over 2,500 deaths.
Meanwhile, Putin has issued strict guidelines in Russian Federation in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19, and as of this week, has directed only essential personnel to work, including those individuals who work at stores, pharmacies and banks.
After seeing the amount of confirmed cases in the U.S. double in the space of two days, Trump said: "The modelling estimates that the peak in death rate is likely to hit in two weeks".
"Health, life, and safety of the people is an absolute priority for us", Putin said last week. Take a look.' He looked at them. He said of New York's dire need for ventilators, "I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they're going to be". He started last week by repeatedly insisting "we can not let the cure be worse than the disease itself".
Trump's "continued delay in getting equipment to where it's needed is deadly", she said.
Trump, as he often does, spent hours on the phone with conservative pundits and business leaders, seeking feedback.
Speaking at the White House briefing on Sunday, Dr Fauci - a leading figure in the Trump administration's coronavirus task force - said the projection was "entirely conceivable" if not enough is done to mitigate the crisis. It is a pivotal time for our economy and our safety.
Trump said he was extending the government's "social distancing" guidelines until April 30 to "slow the spread" of the virus.
This isn't the first time Alcindor and Trump bumped heads during the White House press briefings.
He called Alcindor a "fine journalist" but said, "we're all on the same team". Even prominent Republican officials made clear - carefully, but publicly - that if the president followed through on this, the results would be disastrous.
Dr. Deborah Birx, co-ordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, on Monday repeated Fauci's estimated potential range of 100,000 to 200,000 dead in the United States, but also said that would require a near ideal response from USA officials.
"Pay attention. You're going to lose the election", the former official said, summarizing the intervention. "For someone to say, "well the warehouse has equipment in it, you should be using that equipment today" - that defies the basic concept of planning and the basic operation that we have to have working not just in this state but across the country", Cuomo said. His old talking point - that COVID-19 was no worse than the flu - was shattered by images of ailing celebrities and overrun hospitals, including the Elmhurst Hospital in Queens, N.Y., where Trump grew up. He described the images he'd seen on television with "body bags all over, in hallways".
"Anthony and Deborah have been doing this for many years, and I'm going to rely on them", he said.
But Trump acted as if the model was new, only revealed to him on Sunday by Fauci and Birx. Washington Post political reporter Felicia Sonmez said, " I am in awe of @Yamiche's professionalism, poise and determination in the face of the president's efforts to intimidate her and dodge her questions about his own words".
Trump lashed back on Fox Monday morning. "And the answer came in yesterday".
Dr Arabia Mollette, an emergency medicine physician at Brookdale University Hospital Medical Center in Brooklyn and St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, said she now worked in a "medical war zone". But while Fauci has warned that the virus runs on its own schedule, Trump couldn't resist setting a new deadline.