The U.S. coronavirus death toll reached 4,591 in 24 hours on Thursday, nearly doubling the previous single-day record, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The previous one-day peak came on Wednesday with 2,569 deaths. The spike in deaths came as the White House issued its new guidelines for “Opening Up America Again.”
The new directive says states should show a downward trend of documented cases or positive tests over a two-week period, before entering the first of three reopening phases.
“You’re going to call your own shots,” Trump told the governors during a conference call to outline the plan — a shift in tone after the president asserted he had the ultimate authority to reopen states. “We’ll be standing right alongside of you and we’re going to get our country open.”
The first phase allows places of worship, movie theaters, restaurants, sports venues, gyms, and other venues to open with strict social distancing guidelines in place, but recommends working from home and prohibits outside visits to nursing homes and hospitals. In the second phase, nonessential travel and schools would resume, while in the third phase there would be no restrictions, but encouraged social distancing.
“The close down has worked,” New York governor Andrew Cuomo said during a press conference Thursday. “. . . It means we can control the virus. We did not know for sure we could do that.”
As of Friday morning, the United States has over 222,000 cases and nearly 35,000 deaths. Global cases topped 2 million earlier this week.