US coronavirus deaths have increased by a record number for the second day in a row.
Since recording its first coronavirus fatality on February 29, the US has taken 38 days to reach 10,000 deaths and just nine more days to go from 10,000 fatalities to 30,000.
On Wednesday (local time), its death toll rose by at least 2371, to top 30,800.
The previous highest single-day death toll was 2364 on Tuesday.
Confirmed coronavirus cases in the US have topped 635,000 – and two million globally.
Despite the spike in deaths, there were tentative signs in some parts of the country that the outbreak was beginning to ebb.
Governors of about 20 states with few coronavirus cases believe they might be ready to start the process of reopening their economies by President Donald Trump’s May 1 target date, a top US health official said.
Mr Trump has threatened to override the governors should they refuse.
“We have the right to do whatever we want,” he said.
“We have the right to close down whatever they’re doing.”
Governors in harder-hit states – New York, California, Louisiana, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Michigan – said there was a need for more widespread testing before starting to end the coronavirus shutdown, which has thrown millions out of work with the closing of restaurants, businesses and schools.
In Michigan, hundreds of flag-waving, honking protesters turned out to show their displeasure at Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s orders to keep people at home and businesses locked during the coronavirus outbreak.
The “Operation Gridlock” protest was organised by the Michigan Conservative Coalition.
“This arbitrary blanket spread of shutting down businesses, about putting all of these workers out of business, is just a disaster. It’s an economic disaster for Michigan,” coalition member Meshawn Maddock said. “People are sick and tired of it.”
Ms Whitmer, a Democrat, has extended a stay-home order until April 30 and shut schools and non-essential businesses.
The coronavirus has killed more than 1900 Michigan residents and overwhelmed hospitals in the Detroit area.
In New York, the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic in the US, with the death toll is more than 10,000 in New York city.
New York state and some other hard-hit areas continue to report sharp decreases in hospitalisations and numbers of patients on ventilators. However, front-line healthcare workers and resources remain under extraordinary stress.
Officials have also cautioned that coronavirus-related death figures are likely an undercount due to people dying at home or in nursing homes who were never tested for the virus.
Elsewhere, government relief cheques have begun arriving in Americans’ bank accounts as the economic damage from the pandemic mounts and sluggish sales at reopened stores in Europe and China make it clear business won’t bounce back easily when the crisis eases.
Mr Trump’s name will be printed on the paper cheques – the first time a US president’s name has appeared on cheques from the country’s Internal Revenue Service.