US Coronavirus Death Toll Surpasses 10,000
The United States death toll from the novel coronavirus topped 10,000 on Monday, according to Johns Hopkins University statistics.
The US has the third-highest number of reported deaths from the disease within the world, only exceeded by Italy with 15,887 and Spain with 13,055.
White House medical experts have forecast that between 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could die as a result of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus, even if sweeping orders to stay home are followed.
Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins University, which has been keeping a running tally of coronavirus numbers, said more than 368,000 US cases had been confirmed, with 10,986 deaths by late Monday.
The US had entered what a politician called the “peak death week” of the coronavirus on Monday, while a watchdog report said hospitals were struggling to take care of and expand capacity to care for infected patients.
“It’s getting to be the height hospitalisation, peak ICU [intensive care unit] week and unfortunately, peak death week,” Admiral Brett Giroir, a physician and member of the White House coronavirus task force, told ABC’s morning America programme on Monday.
He raised particular alarm for the states of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the city of Detroit, Michigan.
Separately, on NBC’s Today programme, Giroir said: “Whether you live in small-town America or you live in the Big Apple, everyone is susceptible to this and everyone needs to follow the precautions we’ve laid out.”
More than 90 percent of Americans are under stay-at-home orders issued by state governors while eight states are still holding out on imposing such restrictions.
The report, based on a national March 23-27 survey, showed that “severe shortages” of testing supplies and long waits for test results were limiting the ability of hospitals to keep track of the health of staff and patients, the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General said.
“Hospitals also described substantial challenges maintaining and expanding capacity to worry for patients,” said the report, described as a snapshot of the problems hospitals faced in mid-March. Efforts were being made to address those issues, it said.
The watchdog said “inconsistent guidance from federal, state, and local authorities” was confusing hospitals and the public, while widespread shortages of personal protective equipment put hospital staff and patients at risk.
There was a glimmer of hope, however, in ny , the most focus of the US outbreak, where there are quite 4,750 deaths statewide and 130,000 cases. Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday the death rate had been “effectively flat” for two days. The state reported 599 new deaths, almost like Sunday’s tally of 594 and down from a record 630 on Saturday.
The pandemic was also taking a toll on the ny local department , which said 18.6 percent of its uniformed workforce was out sick on Sunday, including 5.1 percent of who tested positive for the coronavirus.
Despite the grim warnings, a minimum of one model offered hope that the death rate was slowing. The University of Washington model, one among several cited by US and a few state officials, now projects US deaths at 81,766 by August 4, down about 12,000 from a projection over the weekend. The model, which is usually updated with new data, projects the height need for hospital beds on April 15 and for daily deaths at 3,130 on April 16.
The grim outlook has triggered a debate within the White House about the efficacy of a malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, to be used against COVID-19. In a CNN interview on Monday, US trade adviser Peter Navarro acknowledged that members of the White House coronavirus task force disagreed over the drug.
Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and one of the most trusted voices on the US coronavirus response, and other top health advisers have argued there have not been enough studies done to prove the drug is effective against COVID-19.