US coronavirus deaths have surpassed 60,000 - a figure President Trump has previously touted as a potential final toll.
The president has often predicted how many Americans will die before the disease finally dissipates.
Now Trump is trying to make a virtue of a lower number than health officials’ worst case scenario projections, arguing the efforts of his administration have warded off a far greater death toll than otherwise would have been seen.
But the reported US death toll on Wednesday crept past 60,000, a figure that Trump in recent weeks had suggested might be the total death count.
He had cited the estimate as a sign of relative success after the White House previously warned the US could suffer 100,000 to 240,000 deaths.
The US death toll from COVID-19 is certain to keep growing from here because the country suffered two consecutive days of more than 2,000 deaths.
On Wednesday the US recorded another 2,389 coronavirus deaths after a brief lull in new fatalities.
The national death toll is now at least 61,568 with 1,065,245 confirmed cases.
Daily deaths were on the decline in recent days, dropping below 2,000 on Saturday and continuing to fall on Sunday and Monday.
New deaths recorded fell to 1,315 on Monday, the first time daily fatalities in the US had been this low since April 5.
But it began to climb again on Tuesday and Wednesday, as did new cases reported. Cases spiked Wednesday with 28,259 new infections.