The United States on Wednesday posted nearly 2,600 additional deaths from COVID-19 in 24 hours, a new record and the heaviest daily toll of any country, Johns Hopkins University said.
A running tally from Johns Hopkins showed 2,569 victims at 8:30 pm Eastern Time (0030 GMT Thursday), compared with the same time the previous evening, bringing the total number of US deaths to 28,326 – higher than any other nation.
The figures came after President Donald Trump earlier in the evening said that “the data suggests that nationwide we have passed the peak on new cases,” and he will announce Thursday the first plans for lifting coronavirus lockdowns.
Video: “The battle continues but the data suggests that nationwide we have passed the peak on new cases,” says US President Donald Trump, adding that the #US is past the worst of the #COVID_19 #coronavirus pandemic.— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) April 16, 2020
According to Johns Hopkins, the number of cases in the US reached 636,350.
Trump said Wednesday he’s prepared to announce new guidelines allowing some states to quickly ease up on social distancing even as business leaders told him they need more coronavirus testing and personal protective equipment before people can safely go back to work.
The industry executives cautioned Trump that the return to normalcy will be anything but swift.
The new guidelines, expected to be announced Thursday, are aimed at clearing the way for an easing of restrictions in areas with low transmission of the coronavirus, while keeping them in place in harder-hit places. The ultimate decisions will remain with governors.
“We’ll be opening some states much sooner than others,” Trump said.