Washington DC: America is hurtling headlong into a fresh round of chaos as the White House's election-year political calculus trumps a public health apocalypse with nearly half of the country's 50 states reporting an alarming uptick in COVID-19 cases after a spate of hurried re-openings.

Total US cases topped the two million-mark on Thursday, the death toll climbed beyond 114,000 and the Trump campaign is readying for "tremendous" public rallies in at least four states with rising cases: Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Thursday offered the clearest signal yet that the White House has abandoned its public health leadership role during a pandemic.

Also read: US on its way to a very big comeback, post coronavirus: Donald Trump

The Trump campaign is asking Americans not to hold the US president accountable for COVID-19 infections during his first rally in months, coming up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Like Trump, his deputy Mike Pence is also going mask-less amid crowds, drawing widespread criticism from the medical community.

Trump is eager to wade into his sweet spot of wild rallies with thousands of cheering supporters. It's not hard to see why: His poll numbers have tanked to 41%, eight in 10 Americans think the country is out of control according to a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll and he's got consistently low marks for his handling of the pandemic and protests over the death of George Floyd, an African American man brutally killed by a white police officer last month.

Trump's approval has always stayed in a very narrow range in the early 40s but data obsessors are saying it will matter a lot more whether Trump's approval is close to 40% or 45% closer to the election. White House insiders have reportedly begun panicking about the election result if Trump does not course correct.

Trump says he'll pursue police use-of-force standard

Trump said Thursday he would pursue an executive order to encourage police departments to meet "current professional standards for the use of force", while accusing Democrats of broadly branding police as the problem.

Trump offered few details about the yet-to-be-formalized order during a discussion on race relations and policing before a friendly audience in Dallas. The call for establishing a national use-of-force standard amounted to his first concrete proposal for police reform in response to the national outcry following Floyd's death in a violent encounter with Minneapolis police.

The president also acknowledged that law enforcement may have some bad apples," but he said it is unfair to broadly paint police officers as bigots.

We have to work together to confront bigotry and prejudice wherever they appear," Trump said. But we'll make no progress and heal no wounds by falsely labelling tens of millions of decent Americans as racists or bigots."

 (With inputs from agencies)