Worldwide coronavirus infections surge past 2 million, U.S. deaths top 28,000

Confirmed coronavirus infections around the world surged past 2 million on Wednesday, with nearly a third of those in the United States, where more than 28,000 people have died in recent weeks during the pandemic.

Even on a day that recorded more than 2,400 American deaths, the highest one-day total so far, leaders in Washington and around the country continued to grapple with how and when the country might begin to emerge from a lockdown that has crippled the economy and harmed millions of workers.

“The data suggests that nationwide, we have passed the peak on new cases,” President Trump said late Wednesday at the White House, making his latest pitch for why portions of the country should soon begin the trek toward normalcy.

Trump said he plans to have a conference call Thursday with the nation’s governors, who he insisted are “champing at the bit” to reopen their economies. He again argued that some states with low numbers of covid-19 cases might be able to begin restarting some activities before the end of April.

Deborah Birx, coordinator for the White House coronavirus task force, urged Americans to continue with social distancing and avoid gatherings in the days ahead. But she also said some states with smaller outbreaks might be able to open up more quickly.

Specifically, she said there are nine states that have fewer than 1,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, and fewer than 30 new cases per day. That’s where local leaders might choose to move forward with cautiously easing restrictions, she said. The states with fewer than 1,000 confirmed cases as of Wednesday were Arkansas, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming, Washington Post reports.

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