The COVID-19 Pandemic: US Nears Peak Death Rate as Curve May Be Flattening; Boris Johnson Out of Intensive Care; and More

It’s been almost a month now since World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, a pandemic. Since then, the virus has caused world disruption, crippling economies and causing grief for countless families as they endure the death of loved ones without ever getting to say proper goodbyes. But a light at the end of the tunnel does exist, and it’s important to remember that after things get worse, they will get better.

Worldometer now reports over 1.6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 96,940 deaths as this article goes to publish.

The foreign countries most affected include:

  • Spain: 157,022 confirmed cases; 15,843 deaths.
  • Italy: 143,626 confirmed cases; 18,279 deaths.
  • Germany: 118,235 confirmed cases; 2,607 deaths.
  • France: 117,749 confirmed cases; 12,210 deaths.
  • China: 81,907 confirmed cases; 3,336 deaths.

Boris Johnson Out of Intensive Care

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was moved out of intensive care, and his father is now urging him to “rest up” before resuming his PM duties. Stanley Johnson, 79, told the BBC that he felt “tremendously grateful obviously on behalf of the family, Boris’s family, my family, family members all over the place, and also, of course, amazingly thankful as well” for his son’s condition improving, USA Today reported. “He almost took one for the team and we’ve got to make sure we play properly now,” Stanley Johnson told the BBC.

Spain Looking to Introduce Universal Basic Income

The Spanish government is working on introducing a preliminary version of universal income to assist Spaniards facing the economic blows of COVID-19, CNN reports. “This [health] crisis has placed on the table the urgency of a universal basic income, that it is essential and fundamental to guarantee dignity and a minimum purchase power for many Spanish families that are in a desperate situation,” the second deputy Spanish Prime Minister, Pablo Iglesias, said in an interview with national broadcaster TVE on Friday.

National News:

Friday, April 10, 2020

US Death Toll Rises; Peak on the Horizon

The US now has 468,895 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and a death toll of 16,697. Of that total, New York accounts for a large percentage of cases (161,504) and deaths (7,067). As New York now has more infections than any other country, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order to bring in additional funeral directors. However, there is a silver lining as the US is set to reach its highest daily number of deaths this Sunday, meaning that afterwards, models project the infection rate to steadily drop. Also, the projected number of deaths in the US declined, as its now estimated that 60,415 Americans will die from the novel coronavirus by August – a projection that’s down from the 82,000 predicted earlier this week.

Outside of New York, the US states with the most confirmed infections are:

  • New Jersey: 51,027 confirmed cases; 1,700 deaths.
  • Michigan: 21,504 confirmed cases; 1,076 deaths.
  • California: 20,212 confirmed cases; 559 deaths.
  • Massachusetts: 18,941 confirmed cases; 503 deaths.
  • Pennsylvania: 18,283 confirmed cases; 360 deaths.

Curve May Be Flattening, Says Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said officials are seeing “some favorable signs” that coronavirus curve may be flattening in the US. Dr. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert said during an appearance on CNN’s “New Day” that: “What we’re seeing right now are some favorable signs as I’ve discussed with you a few times on this show,” Fauci explained. “It’s looking like that in many cases, particularly in New York. We’re starting to see a flattening and a turning around.”

Extra Unemployment Benefits to Start Flowing for Some

Some Americans who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 will start seeing more money in their pockets soon. States are beginning to implement historic enhancements to unemployment benefits, a feature that Congress included in its 2.2 trillion relief package. It includes a $600 weekly increase for up to four months, coupled with state benefits.

Immunity Certificates?

Dr. Anthony Fauci says the idea of Americans carrying certificates of immunity to prove they tested positive for the antibodies to COVID-19 might “have some merit under certain circumstances.” “It’s one of those things that we talk about when we want to make sure that we know who the vulnerable people are and not,” Dr. Fauci said. “If their antibody test is positive, one can formulate strategies about whether or not they would be at risk or vulnerable to getting re-infected. This would be important for health care workers, for first-line fighters.”

Thursday, April 9, 2020

  • The coronavirus pandemic continues to have an unprecedented affect on the job market as another 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. In total, over 16 millions Americans have made jobless claims in the last three weeks, and when compared to the 151 million people on payroll in the last monthly payroll report, it means that country has lost 10% of its workforce in just three weeks.
  • COVID-19 might have been circulating in New York longer than originally thought and the earliest cases likely stem from travelers coming from Europe and the other parts of the US, according to the findings of two separate research projects.
  • Antibody tests, which can reveal whether someone have had COVID-19 without being diagnosed, either before the outbreak started or during the test day, will soon be readily available, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci.
  • The number of people traveling via plane had decreased by approximately 96%, according to a CNN report.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

  • The US recorded its highest number of deaths in a single-day with more than 1,800 fatalities reported on Tuesday. That exceeds the previous record of 1,344 deaths which was recorded on April 4. The US currently has 406,697 confirmed cases and 13,868 deaths.New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the grim announcement today that NY also set a single-day record in deaths with 779 on Tuesday, up from Monday’s total of 731. COVID-19 has now claimed the lives of more New Yorkers than the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center.
  • Major city mayors are now looking to address the disproportionate death rate affecting minorities with the novel coronavirus, especially African Americans.
  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy imposed more restrictions to mitigate the effect of COVID-19 community spread in the state. Murphy ordered all non-essential construction sites to shut down indefinitely, effective at 8 p.m. ET on Friday.
  • US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has started the process for quick passage of a $251 billion stimulus bill for additional small businesses loans, CNN reports.
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods will furlough a “significant number” of its roughly 40,000 employees beginning Sunday.
  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson remains in intensive care on Wednesday, but is “improving” and “sitting up in bed” talking to physicians, according to Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
  • Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Wednesday that Canada’s national lockdown will continue “for many more weeks” as the nation makes assessments on when to resume some economic activity.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

  • Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell said he hopes to approve further funding to help small businesses affected by the pandemic.
  • Investors are feeling better about a recent decline in COVID cases. Stocks surged on Monday with The Dow up 1,600 points, its third highest point gain ever. The S&P 500 went up 7% to its highest level since March 13. The S&P rebounded by around 20% from its 52-week low on March 23. Today, the Dow is trading 846 points higher at the open, or more than 3%. The S&P is up 3.2% while the Nasdaq Composite surged 2.8%.
  • President Trump announced a tough negotiation between his administration and 3M has ended with a deal which will see 3M delivering an addition 5.5 million “high-quality face masks” each month.
  • Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ space venture Blue Origin has joined other rocket companies in the fight against COVID-19 by volunteering to make products needed by front-line health care workers. Blue Origin workers are offering to make plastic pieces needed for face shields, the company said in a video released on Tuesday.
  • Major League Baseball (MLB) and its players are focused on a plan that could allow them to start the season as early as May, ESPN reports. The plan, should it come to fruition, would dicate that all 30 teams play games in the Phoenix area in stadiums with no fans.
  • British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was transferred to intensive care on Monday, after his persistent coronavirus symptoms worsened.
  • China reported no new COVID-19 deaths for the first time since January, the National Health Commission said.

Monday, April 6, 2020

  • Encouragingly, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a video briefing on Monday that the death toll in the state has been “effectively flat” for the past two days, adding that: “If we are plateauing, we are plateauing at a high level.”
  • Stocks are rising, and rebounded from sharp losses over the previous week with the Dow Jones Industrial Average trading at 1,200 points higher, or up more than 5%. The S&P 500 gained 5.5% while the Nasdaq Composite jumped by 5.4%.
  • World Health Organization (WHO) officials are now warning that COVID-19 can spread in asymptomatic patients one to three days before the onset of symptoms. “It’s very important to note that even if you are pre-symptomatic, you still have to transmit through droplets.
  • Boris Johnson admitted to hospital.
  • Spain’s death toll has reportedly dropped for the fourth consecutive day on Monday, with 637 confirmed deaths today. Spain’s number of mortalities from the novel virus have been steadily falling since they hit a peak of 905 last Thursday, according to a Reuters report.
  • Tiger at the Bronx Zoo tests positive for coronavirus.
  • Spain’s death toll has reportedly dropped for the fourth consecutive day on Monday, with 637 confirmed deaths today. Spain’s number of mortalities from the novel virus have been steadily falling since they hit a peak of 905 last Thursday, according to a Reuters report.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Third Coral Princess Passenger Dies

A third passenger aboard the Coral Princess cruise ship died on Sunday after being transported by a plane ambulance to a Florida hospital, CNN reports. The Coral Princess departed Santiago, Chile on March 5, and announced operations were halting one week later. Two passengers perished on board the ship before it docked and six others were transported from the ship to local hospitals on Saturday.

Hydroxychloroquine Trial Underway in Detroit Hospital

Vice President Mike Pence announced on Sunday that hydroxychloroquine will be used in a trial of 3,000 patients at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, and the results will be tracked in a formal study. Pence added that they are “more than prepared” to make hydroxychloroquine available to doctor’s offices and pharmacies in the Detroit area “as they deem appropriate.”

Saturday, April 4, 2020

‘This the Moment to Not be Going to the Grocery’

Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx emphasized on Saturday that the next weeks will be pivotal in flattening the curve. She stated: “This is a very important — the next two weeks are extraordinarily important, and that’s why I think you’ve heard from Dr. (Anthony) Fauci, from myself, from the President and the Vice President that this is the moment to do everything that you can on the presidential guidelines,” Birx said. “This is the moment to not be going to the grocery store, not going to the pharmacy, but doing everything you can to keep your family and your friends safe, and that means everybody doing the 6 feet distancing, washing your hands.”

Friday, April 3, 2020

  • The United States became the epicenter for COVID-19 cases less than a week ago, and since has seen its numbers surge to over 258,000 cases and 6,572 deaths. Dr. Anthony Fauci explained in a CNN interview that even with mitigation efforts in place in the form of social distancing, the amount of US deaths has yet to reach its apex. “Even when you suppress or stabilize the number of new infections, its still going to take awhile before you see a decrease in hospitalizations, a decrease in intensive care, and a decrease in deaths.” Adding that: “In fact, deaths are the last thing that lag. So you could be doing well, and having a good effect on mitigation, and still see the deaths go up.”
  • The USNS Comfort, the Navy hospital vessel deployed to NYC to treat non-COVID patients, is only currently treating 20 patients, according to a Navy spokesperson. However, the Navy expects that number to rise appreciably as the referral process is refined. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio said in a CNN interview that: “There’s no question in my mind that will get resolved quickly. You’ll see that number grow.”
  • US Government Will Only Issue New Passports in ‘Life-or-Death’ Emergencies

Thursday, April 2, 2020

  • The spread of COVID-19 has had an astronomically dire effect on the US job market as 6.6 million US workers filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending on March 28, meaning that nearly 10 million jobless claims have been made in the last two weeks.
  • Amid the pandemic, the Democratic National Committee decided to postpone the party’s presidential convention in Milwaukee from July 13 to August 17, one week before the Republican Party’s convention.
  • A venerable panel of scientific experts informed the White House that research shows COVID-19 can spread not just through sneezing and coughing, but also by just talk, or possibly even just breathing.
  • Out of 70 students who boarded a plane from Austin, Texas to Mexico for spring break two weeks ago, more than 40 have now tested positive for COVID-19 – all of them University of Texas at Austin students.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the closure of all New York City playgrounds on Wednesday to mitigate the virus’ spread.
  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announced a stay-at-home order for all Floridians to impede COVID’s spread.
  • Stocks fell by 4% on Wednesday following President Trump’s aforementioned warning of deadly days to come. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 909 points, or 4.1% in midday trading, while the S&P 500 fell by 4.4% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped by 3.9%. This comes one day after the Dow closed out their worst quarter since 1987.
  • President Trump warns of a ‘painful’ next weeks as the virus’ peak nears closer.
  • New data from Iceland reveals that 50% of patients who tested positive for COVID-19 said they did not present with any symptoms.
  • The COVID-19 death toll in the United Kingdom rose by a record 563 in the last 24 hours, and now Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative government is under fire for failing to keep its promise to ramp up testing.

Here’s a full wrap-up of COVID-19 happenings from the month of March.

The COVID-19 Pandemic March Round-up: Coronavirus Declared a Pandemic; People, Businesses and Economies Devastated

 

DocWire News will provide breaking updates on the COVID-19 pandemic as they become available.