Coronavirus latest: US suffers highest daily increase in deaths

US toll nears 40,000 with record daily deaths in New Jersey and Michigan

Peter Wells in New York

The US saw its highest daily increase in coronavirus deaths over a 24-hour period, pushing the total number of fatalities since the outbreak began to just shy of 40,000.

A further 2,674 people died in the past day, according to data compiled by the Covid Tracking Project on Tuesday, taking the total number of deaths to 39,995.

New Jersey and Michigan, the states with the highest total fatalities after New York, both reported that new deaths increased by daily records, of 376 and 232, respectively. That took their totals to 4,753 and 2,700.

The national divide about how soon to reopen state economies has been particularly visible in Michigan. Dozens of residents last week took to the streets of the capital, Lansing, to voice their displeasure with the state’s lockdown order that is due to expire on April 30. Gretchen Whitmer, the state’s Democratic governor, has indicated that she hopes to take some steps towards reopening the state from May 1, and could detail a plan later this week.

New York, the hardest-hit state, reported 481 new deaths over the past 24 hours, taking its total to 14,828.

There have been 799,717 reported cases of coronavirus in the US, according to Covid Tracking Project data.

Figures from Johns Hopkins University put the US death toll at 44,228 as of Tuesday afternoon.

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