Updated May 13, 2020 - World

Bolsonaro fights to reopen gyms as Brazil records deadliest coronavirus day

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a press conference at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, in March. Photo: Andressa Anholete/Getty Images

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday challenged state governors vowing to defy his push to reopen businesses to file lawsuits against his government as the country reported a record 881 people had died from the novel coronavirus in 24 hours.

By the numbers: The country's total death toll rose past 12,600 on Wednesday — making it the sixth worst-hit country for COVID-19 deaths, per Johns Hopkins data. Brazil has confirmed more than 178,200 infections, surpassing Germany, which has over 171,100 cases.

  • On Tuesday, the country reported a record 881 people had died from the virus in 24 hours — taking the total toll to 12,600 and making it the world’s sixth worst-hit country for COVID-19 deaths, Johns Hopkins data shows.

The big picture: With Brazil facing the threat of its worst-ever recession, Bolsonaro is pressing on with his plans to reopen gyms and beauty parlors, which he deemed in a decree to be essential services.

  • "Governors who do not agree with the decree can file lawsuits in court," he tweeted.

The other side: At least 10 governors have said they'll ignore the decree, Reuters notes.

"Bolsonaro is walking toward the precipice and wants to take all of us with him," Rio de Janeiro Gov. Wilson Witzel tweeted on Tuesday.

Go deeper: Bolsonaro has Brazil headed for worst recession ever

Go deeper

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U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

Florida reported on Wednesday its largest number of new novel coronavirus cases in a single day since April 17. 1,317 people tested positive to take the state total to 58,764, per the state's health department. Despite the rise, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said bars and clubs could reopen on Friday.

By the numbers: More than 107,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus and over 1.8 million people have tested positive, per data from Johns Hopkins. More than 479,000 Americans have recovered and over 18 million tests have been conducted.

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DeSantis says Florida bars and clubs can reopen this week

Outdoor restaurant in Fort Lauderdale on May 18. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday that bars and clubs will be allowed to reopen on Friday, as the state continues to scale down restrictions it put in place because of the coronavirus, WCTV reports.

Why it matters: DeSantis ordered bars and clubs to close in mid-March as one of the first actions the state took to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 6,530,067 — Total deaths: 386,392 — Total recoveries — 2,820,488Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 1,851,520 — Total deaths: 107,175 — Total recoveries: 479,258 — Total tested: 18,214,950Map.
  3. Tech: Telemedicine leads on coronavirus innovations.
  4. Business: Senate passes bill to ease PPP loan restrictions
  5. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine failed to prevent coronavirus infections Concerns about at-home testing — WHO resumes hydroxychloroquine trial.
  6. Protests: The biggest crisis since 1968 — in the midst of a pandemic.