Coronavirus: Daily US Death Toll Hits New High Of 2,492 — As It Happened

Demetri Sevastopulo in Washington

President Donald Trump said the battle against coronavirus continued but stressed that recent data suggested the US was “past the peak,” as he signalled he would reveal new guidelines on reopening the economy on Thursday.

“The data suggests that nationwide we are past the peak … hopefully that will continue and we will continue to make great progress,” Mr Trump said at his daily news conference.

The US president added that the “encouraging developments have put us in a very strong position to finalize guidelines for states on reopening the country”. He said he would hold a press conference on Thursday afternoon to reveal the new guidelines, which he suggested would be targeted at some, but not all, states.

Mr Trump previously suggested he wanted to reopen the economy in May, but some of his advisers, including Anthony Fauci, one of the top scientists on the White House coronavirus task force, have suggested that timetable was not realistic, particularly given the inability to test enough people across the US.

“We think some of the states can actually open up before the deadline of May 1. And I think that that will be a very exciting time indeed," Mr Trump said in the White House Rose Garden. "Governors are … chomping at the bit to get going.”

"We'll have some openings that will exceed our expectations and they will be safe. They will be strong, but we want to get our country back. We want to get our country back. And we're going to do it, and we're going to do it soon,” he said.

Many governors have made clear, however, that the president does not have the constitutional authority to order them to ease lockdown orders, raising questions about whether Mr Trump can announce anything that is meaningful.

Mr Trump spoke as the US death toll passed 28,000, while the number of coronavirus cases topped 630,000.

A record 2,492 died from coronavirus over the past 24 hours, the first time new fatalities have risen above 2,000 for two consecutive days.

Mr Trump lashed out at Democrats, saying they were preventing him from appointing officials who require Senate confirmation. He said he would consider using his “constitutional authority to adjourn both chambers of Congress”, in a move he said would allow him to appoint nominees under a process knowing as “recess appointments”.

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