US death toll tops 40,000 as stay-at-home protests continue

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(ABC News) – The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 40,000 people in the United States, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.

Nearly half of all deaths — over 18,000 — occurred in New York state.

Jason Connolly/AFP via Getty ImagesDemonstrators gather in front of the Colorado State Capitol building to protest coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders during a “ReOpen Colorado” rally in Denver, Colorado, on April 19, 2020.Demonstrators gather in front of the Colorado State Capitol building to protest coronavirus-related stay-at-home orders during a “ReOpen Colorado” rally in Denver, Colorado, on April 19, 2020.Jason Connolly/AFP via Getty Images

Meanwhile, opposition to stay-at-home orders has continued to build from coast to coast amid growing resentment against the crippling economic cost of confinement. Protests took place over the weekend in at least five states — Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Tennessee and Washington. Last week, other stay-at-home protests took place in California, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Utah and Virginia.

Many of the demonstrations flout the social distancing guidelines put in place by the White House to stem the spread of the virus. Nevertheless, President Donald Trump has spoken out in support of the protesters, describing them as “great people” who “love our country” and “have got cabin fever.”

“Their life was taken away from them,” Trump said at a press briefing Sunday. “They want to get back to work.”

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