More than 50,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the United States while debates are heightening over reopening the country’s economy severely battered by the virus.
A total of 870,468 cases have been reported in the United States with the death toll reaching 50,031 as of 11 a.m. Friday (1500 GMT), according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.
The state of New York suffered the most, with 263,460 cases and 20,982 deaths. In other hardest-hit states, New Jersey reported 5,426 fatalities, Michigan reported 2,977 deaths and Massachusetts recorded 2,360 deaths, the data showed.
With the largest number of known cases in the world, the United States is seeing disputes heating up over loosening social distancing restrictions and reopening the economy.
Several states are moving toward restarting their economies after the federal government issued new guidelines to reopen the country in phases. Many others remain hesitant to take such steps without more robust testing capacity.
The moves have been met with scepticism as health experts have warned that reopening the economy too soon could risk setting off another wave of infections.