The coronavirus death toll in the United States has increased to more than 4,000 – doubling in just three days – with more than 40 percent of the fatal cases coming from New York.
The number of deaths went up by 889 overnight on Tuesday to 4,076 – more than twice the 2,010 recorded late Saturday.
The US death toll has now surpassed the number of deaths reported in China (3,309) where the outbreak first emerged back in December.
America also has the most confirmed cases globally with the infection number rising to more than 189,000.
The death toll in Italy (12,428) and Spain (9,053) is still higher than the United States.
President Donald Trump has warned Americans to brace for a ‘hell of a bad two weeks’ ahead as the White House projected there could be 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the US even if current social distancing guidelines are maintained.
Trump called it ‘a matter of life and death’ for Americans to heed his administration’s guidelines and predicted the country would soon see a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.
‘I want every American to be prepared for the hard days that lie ahead,’ Trump said. ‘This is going to be one of the roughest two or three weeks we’ve ever had in our country… We’re going to lose thousands of people.’
The jaw-dropping projections were laid out as officials described a death toll that in a best-case scenario would likely be greater than the more than 53,000 American lives lost during World War I. The model’s high end neared the realm of possibility that Americans lost to the virus could approach the 291,000 Americans killed on the battlefield during World War II.
Dr Tony Fauci, the country’s leading virus expert, called the numbers ‘sobering’ and urged Americans to ‘step on the accelerator’ with their collective mitigation efforts.
Trump’s comments came after he announced on Sunday that he was extending to April 30 the social distancing guidelines that advise Americans to cease large gatherings, work from home, suspend onsite learning at schools and more in a nationwide effort to stem the spread of the virus.
It was an abrupt reversal for Trump who spent much of last week targeting April 12 as the day he wanted to see Americans ‘pack the pews’ for Easter Sunday services.
Fears that the US is on track to become the new Italy, whose healthcare system has buckled under the weight of the pandemic, are fast becoming a reality.
The mounting crisis hit close to home for New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday after he confirmed that his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, had tested positive for the virus.
New York, which is the epicenter of the US pandemic, recorded 76,049 confirmed coronavirus cases by the end of Tuesday and 1,550 deaths.
In New York City alone, there have been 1,096 deaths and 43,119 confirmed cases.
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Source: Daily Mail