Amid the chaos at the United States Capitol Hill, the country tallied its deadliest day of the pandemic as more than 4,000 people died of the novel coronavirus on Thursday.
It is the first time US’s single-day death toll has surpassed 4,000 – the country recorded 3,915 deaths a day earlier on Wednesday. The pandemic has now claimed more than 363,000 lives across America. More than 265,000 new Covid-19 cases were reported in one day.
With over 21.4 million infections, US has the highest number of cases as well as deaths. But its deadliest day was overshadowed by the President Donald Trump’s supporters storming the US Capitol, overwhelming police and forcing authorities to transport lawmakers to secure locations for their own safety. The riots left five dead.
A Capitol police officer died from injuries sustained in the assault, the force said late on Thursday. A woman protester was fatally shot by the authorities, and three people died from medical emergencies.
The FBI offered a reward of up to $50,000 for information on people responsible for placing pipe bombs in the headquarters of the two main US political parties. The agency released a picture of a suspect wearing gloves and a hoodie, carrying an object.
Congressional Democrats on Friday weighed impeaching President Donald Trump for a second time. Democratic leaders including House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for immediate impeachment proceedings if Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s cabinet refused to take steps to remove Trump from power.
“The president’s dangerous and seditious acts necessitate his immediate removal from office,” they said in a statement on Thursday evening, accusing Trump of inciting an “insurrection.”
As calls for his ouster mounted on Thursday, Trump released a video in which he denounced the violence. The Republican president came the closest yet to conceding his loss in the November 3 presidential election, promising to ensure a smooth transition to a “new administration”. President-elect Joe Biden, a Democrat, is set to be sworn in on Janurary 20.
Trump’s words were in stark contrast to his speech on Wednesday, when he exhorted a crowd of thousands to descend on the Capitol as Congress met to certify Biden’s election victory.—AP