The COVID-19 Pandemic: US Records its Deadliest Day Yet; African Americans Dying at Disproportionate Rates; and More

We know two things for certain: 1. The coronavirus pandemic will eventually end; and 2. In its wake, the virus will have permanently altered the way we live life. Statistics website Worldometer now reports over 1.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 – though with insufficient testing and so many patients who are either asymptomatic or experiencing such mild symptoms that they recover at home – the true number of infected people is much, much higher. COVID-19 inches closer to a global death toll of 100,000 with 83,666 confirmed deaths reported as this article goes to publish.

The foreign countries most affected by COVID-19 remain:

  • Spain: 146,690 confirmed cases; 14,555 deaths.
  • Italy: 135,586 confirmed cases; 17,127 deaths.
  • Germany: 109,329 confirmed cases; 2,096 deaths.
  • France: 109,069 confirmed cases; 10,328 deaths.
  • China: 81,802 confirmed cases; 3,333 deaths.
  • Iran: 64,586 confirmed cases; 3,993 deaths.
  • UK: 55,242 confirmed cases; 6,159 deaths.

Boris Johnson Still in ICU, But Improving

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. Mr. Sunak said the prime minister, who was transferred to intensive care on Monday after his COVID symptoms worsened, was receiving “excellent” care from his National Health Service (NHS) team. Mr. Sunak said the prime minister’s situation “reminds us how indiscriminate this disease is.”

Canada’s Lockdown will Continue

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. “The current measures will be in place for many more weeks so we have time to get that right and to look what other countries that might be earlier in their phase do that is successful,” Trudeau said.

National News:

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

US Sees its Highest Death Toll Yet

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. A total of 2,753 New Yorkers died on 9/11 – the coronavirus has killed 6,268 people in New York, and counting.

Behind NY, the US states most affected by COVID-19 remain:

  • New Jersey: 44,416 confirmed cases; 1,232 deaths.
  • Michigan: 18,970 confirmed cases; 845 deaths.
  • California: 17,674 confirmed cases; 451 deaths.
  • Louisiana: 16,284 confirmed cases; 582 deaths.
  • Pennsylvania: 16,239 confirmed cases; 310 deaths.

Addressing Racial Disparities in COVID-19 Deaths

Major city mayors are now looking to address the disproportionate death rate affecting minorities with the novel coronavirus, especially African Americans. New York City said on Wednesday that black residents comprise 28% of the city’s deaths, while only making up 22% of the population. Hispanics account for 34% of all New York fatalities, while comprising 29% of the city’s population.

In Chicago, a recent report found that 70% of people dying from COVID-19 are black, even though the city’s population is only 30% black. Moreover, black people account for 81% of those dying from coronavirus in Milwaukee Country, which is just 27% black. The White House’s leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci addressed these disparities in a Tuesday press conference. “It’s not that [African Americans] are getting infected more often, it’s that when they do get infected, their underlying medical conditions — the diabetes, hypertension, the obesity, the asthma — those are the kind of things that wind them up in the ICU and ultimately give him a higher death rate.”

NJ Governor Announces More Restrictions to Flatten Curve

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. Gov. Murphy also ordered all essential retail-grocery stores and pharmacies to reduce the number of customers in their stories by 50% of their approved capacity.

Update on Small Business Stimulus Bill

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. McConnell has checked with senators to determine whether any of them will object to moving forward with the bill.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Announces Massive Furloughs

Dick’s Sporting Goods will furlough a “significant number” of its roughly 40,000 employees beginning Sunday. All employees affected by the furloughs will still receive their benefits. Dick’s stated in a regulatory filing that due to COVID-19, it’s “increasingly evident” that its more than 800 stores will not open anytime soon. “It is our goal that when this crisis subsides, we will welcome back our teammates, open our doors and get back to the business we love of serving athletes and our communities,” the company said.

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.