The US has become the first country in the world to record more than 2,000 deaths from the coronavirus in a single day, and the number of infections across America has now topped 500,000.
Johns Hopkins University’s stats show that 2,108 people died on Friday – the day that some experts had predicted a peak in Covid-19 deaths.
The US has led the world in the number of infections since the end of March. With more than a third of all officially declared cases globally, it threatens to overtake Europe, which has recorded more than 850,000 cases.
More than 1.6 million people have been infected globally and the death toll hit 102,753 on Friday — with nearly 70 percent of fatal cases in hard-hit Europe.
The true number of lives lost is believed be much higher because of limited testing, different rules for counting the dead and cover-ups by some governments. For example, in places like New York, Italy and Spain, many victims who died outside a hospital — say, in a home or a nursing home — have not been part of the count.
More than half of US deaths have been in the New York metropolitan area. New York state on Friday reported 777 new deaths, down slightly from the day before, for an overall toll of more than 7,800. Other hot spots have emerged in places such as Detroit, Louisiana and Washington, DC.
“I understand intellectually why it’s happening,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “”It doesn’t make it any easier to accept.”
But state officials said the number of people in intensive care dropped for the first time since mid-March and hospitalizations are slowing: 290 new patients in a single day, compared with daily increases of more than 1,000 last week.
The president told a press briefing at the White House on April 10: “More than two million coronavirus tests have now been completed, and we’re conducting approximately 100,000 more every day.
“We’re also working to bring blood-based serology tests to the market as quickly as possible so that Americans can determine whether or not they have already had the virus and potentially have immunity.
“The NIH, CDC, and FDA are currently validating these antibody tests to ensure that they are accurate, and they’re doing that at breakneck speed.
“When validated, we’re confident that the production will scale up to tens of millions of tests very quickly.
“We’re leading the world now in testing, by far, and we’re going to keep it that way.”
Comparing the battle against the coronavirus pandemic as akin to fighting a war, Trump added: “The American people have launched the greatest mobilization of our society since World War Two, deploying every scientific, governmental, medical, and military resource to defeat the virus.
“The US military has deployed thousands of personnel to build 23 temporary hospitals with more than 16,000 beds.”