The growing US death toll is already more than 70,000 — by far the highest globally — while Britain’s rose to 32,000, putting it above Italy in the grim ranking of national fatalities.
Elsewhere in Europe, hard-hit Italy, Spain and France have reported a levelling off of figures, offering hope that life could slowly start returning to normal.
With experts warning of a severe global recession, many governments have been easing stay-at-home measures in a bid to revive badly hammered economies. Financial markets hinted at some light at the end of the tunnel, with stocks and oil prices rallying Tuesday.
“We can’t keep our country closed for the next five years,” Trump said on a trip to a mask-making factory in Arizona, conceding that some people would be “badly affected.”
He urged US states to ease restrictions as he attempts to fire up the world’s biggest economy before the November presidential election, when the high death toll and millions of lost jobs could cost him dearly.
The US registered 2,333 more deaths over the 24-hours to Tuesday evening, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University, with some scientific models suggesting the figure will rise to 3,000 a day by June.