Deaths from COVID-19 in the United States surged to another record high Thursday, nearly doubling to surpass the previous record set just a day before. Four thousand five hundred ninety-one U.S. residents died over a single 24-hour period, with another 31,000 newly confirmed coronavirus cases across the U.S. Worldwide, over 145,000 people have died of COVID-19, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. At the White House, President Trump on Thursday outlined federal guidelines for states to reopen their economies, saying it was up to individual governors to decide when and how to relax social distancing measures.
President Donald Trump: “Some states are not in the kind of trouble that others are in. Now that we have passed the peak in new cases, we’re starting our life again. We’re starting rejuvenation of our economy again in a safe and structured and very responsible fashion.”
Trump told governors in a conference call Thursday, “You’re gonna call your own shots” — reversing his claim last Monday he has “total” authority to tell states when and how to reopen. Medical professionals say it’s far too early to reopen schools, businesses and large gatherings without spawning a new surge in COVID-19 cases. They say a massive increase in testing and contact tracing capacity is needed before social distancing measures can be relaxed.