US records 1,433 coronavirus deaths in past 24 hours

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Yonkers Fire Department EMTs, clothed in full personal protective equipment (PPE), assist to transport a patient with Covid-19 symptoms to a hospital on April 14, 2020 in Yonkers, Westchester County, New York. PHOTO | JOHN MOORE | GETTY IMAGES | AFP

The coronavirus death toll in the United States — the country with the most fatalities in the pandemic — has climbed by 1,433 in the past 24 hours to reach 42,094, the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University showed Monday.

The US has recorded more than 784,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 since the start of the global health crisis, according to the Baltimore-based university.

New York is the epicentre of the US outbreak, though it seems the state may have endured the worst of the crisis.

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that 478 deaths had been recorded in the previous 24 hours, the lowest total in more than two weeks.

Despite this, US anti-confinement protesters, while demanding economic freedom, have demonstrated against confinement measures aimed at combatting the coronavirus.

The incessant clang of car horns rang out in the US state of Pennsylvania Monday as hundreds of vehicles circled the Capitol building in a protest against confinement measures aimed at combatting the coronavirus.

During the rally that lasted about three hours, many drove pick-up trucks decorated with American flags or slogans like “shelter in place isn’t freedom!”

The Harrisburg demonstrators, arguing that public health regulations unduly threaten economic freedom, gathered after similar protests elsewhere in the country and President Donald Trump tweeted apparent support for them last week.

Among Monday’s protest organisers were a trio of conservative pro-gun activist brothers who have instigated anti-quarantine demonstrations throughout the United States.

But the demonstrators remain on the margins in a country where polls show a majority support stay-at-home measures to fight the pandemic.

Along with the vehicles protesting, hundreds of people — most of them mask-free despite the threat of the virus — gathered at the steps of the statehouse.

They carried signs decrying damage caused to the economy due to confinement measures, or accusing the governor, Tom Wolf, of using the virus as an excuse to grab powers.

Among those rallying were Republican congressional representatives.

State lawmaker Aaron Bernstine said “our new normal does not mean we will sacrifice our freedoms for the safety of our country.”

“U-S-A!” chants punctuated his speech — reminiscent of Trump rallies, which are currently suspended due to the pandemic.

The virus has infected more than 33,000 people and killed in excess of 1,300 in the eastern state of Pennsylvania.

The United States is the global epicentre of the pandemic, with more than 41,000 people dead.

Yet, echoing Trump, some lawmakers like Representative Russ Diamond say the “cure” — ordering or urging residents to stay home — could be “worse than the disease.”

“End this shutdown now!” Diamond said at the rally.

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