COVID-19 News from Around the Web

April 1, 2020
President Donald Trump on Tuesday 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 U.S. from the coronavirus pandemic even if current social distancing guidelines are maintained. Public health officials stressed that the number could be less if people across the country bear down on keeping their distance from one another. “We really believe we can do a lot better than that,” said Dr. Deborah Birx, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force. That would require all Americans to take seriously their role in preventing the spread of disease, she said.
April 1, 2020
Based on preliminary U.S. data, persons with underlying health conditions such as diabetes mellitus, chronic lung disease, and cardiovascular disease, appear to be at higher risk for severe COVID-19–associated disease than persons without these conditions. Strategies to protect all persons and especially those with underlying health conditions, including social distancing and handwashing, should be implemented by all communities and all persons to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
April 1, 2020
The two top infectious disease experts on the White House coronavirus task force think social distancing measures appear to be helping but reminded Americans they are going to have a significant effect on how many people in the Unites States die. "It's communities that will do this. There's no magic bullet (for Covid-19), there's no magic vaccine or therapy, it's just behaviors," said Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the task force. "Each of our behaviors translating into something that changes the course of this viral pandemic over the next 30 days."
April 1, 2020
As the pandemic wreaks havoc on the U.S. economy and transforms Americans’ daily lives, the start of April brings a moment of reckoning for millions: rent checks are due. Many Americans have already lost their jobs – last week’s national unemployment claims exceeded 3 million, shattering previous records – and huge swaths of the country have essentially shut down, with more than half of U.S. states now under some version of a stay-at-home order to curb the disease’s spread. One third of the nation’s 328 million residents live in rental homes, according to U.S. Census data. In New York City, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak, the proportion of those who rent is much higher.
March 31, 2020
The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus pandemic climbed past 3,000 on Monday, the deadliest day yet in the country’s mounting crisis, while New York cheered the arrival of a gleaming 1,000-bed U.S. Navy hospital ship as a sign of hope in the city’s desperate fight. The United States has the most confirmed cases in the world, a number that is likely to soar when tests for the virus become more widespread.
March 31, 2020
Birx said the projections by Dr. Anthony Fauci that U.S. deaths could range from 1.6 million to 2.2 million is a worst case scenario if the country did "nothing" to contain the outbreak, but said even "if we do things almost perfectly," she still predicts up to 200,000 U.S. deaths. "I think everyone understands now that you can go from five to 50 to 500 to 5,000 cases very quickly," Birx said. "I think in some of the metro areas we were late in getting people to follow the 15-day guidelines," she added.
March 31, 2020
President Donald Trump's decision to extend social distancing guidelines until April 30 came after officials reviewed 12 different statistical models, said Dr. Deborah Birx. But standing in the Rose Garden, Birx also mentioned another model, created independently, that "ended up at the same numbers." That analysis, which is publicly available, paints a grim picture of what's to come in the US, even with social distancing in place. As of Monday morning, it estimates that more than 2,000 people could die each day in the United States in mid-April, when the virus is predicted to hit the country hardest. The model, which is updated regularly, predicts that 224,000 hospital beds -- 61,000 more than we'll have -- will be needed on April 15, when the US is estimated to reach "peak resource use." And assuming social distancing will continue through May, it finds that, by August, around 82,000 people in the US could die from Covid-19.
March 31, 2020
How many people die after being infected with the novel coronavirus? Fewer than previously calculated, according to a study released Monday, but still more than die from the flu. The research, published in the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, estimated that about 0.66% of those infected with the virus will die. That coronavirus death rate, which is lower than earlier estimates, takes into account potentially milder cases that often go undiagnosed -- but it's still far higher than the 0.1% of people who are killed by the flu. When undetected infections aren't taken into account, the Lancet study found that the coronavirus death rate was 1.38%, which is more consistent with earlier reports.
March 31, 2020
Ford said the simplified ventilator design, which is licensed by GE Healthcare from Florida-based Airon Corp and has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, can meet the needs of most COVID-19 patients and relies on air pressure without the need for electricity. Ford said it plans to begin production of ventilators at a plant in Ypsilanti, Michigan, deploying 500 United Auto Workers employees. It said it plans to start production at the facility the week of April 20. That is roughly when New York officials expect the peak of COVID-19 cases to hit their state. Ventilators built by Ford, GM and others could be used in other parts of the United States where the peak case loads are expected later.
March 30, 2020
Faced with the grim prospect that 200,000 Americans could die even with aggressive action to slow the spread of the coronavirus, President Trump extended the guidelines on avoiding nonessential travel, staying away from work, visiting bars and restaurants and gathering in groups of more than 10 for at least another month. “We can expect that by June 1, we will be well on our way to recovery,” Mr. Trump said on Sunday evening. “We think by June 1. A lot of great things will be happening.” But the virus has already dashed Mr. Trump’s earlier rosy predictions, and as Americans entered their third week living in a work-from-home world, officials warned that the deepening crisis in New York was weeks from peaking. “Thousands of people will pass away,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo warned. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw over 100,000 deaths,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States’ leading infectious disease expert, said on Monday.
March 30, 2020
Bracing the nation for a death toll that could exceed 100,000 people, President Donald Trump on Sunday extended restrictive social distancing guidelines through April, bowing to public-health experts who presented him with even more dire projections for the expanding coronavirus pandemic. It was a stark shift in tone by the president, who only days ago mused about the country reopening in a few weeks following the initial 15-day period of social distancing. From the Rose Garden, he said his Easter revival hopes had only been “aspirational.” Trump had expressed interest in relaxing the national guidelines at least in parts of the country less afflicted by the pandemic. He instead decided to extend them through April 30, a tacit acknowledgment he’d been too optimistic. Many states and local governments have stiffer controls in place on mobility and gatherings.
March 30, 2020
New York state’s death toll from the outbreak climbed above 1,000 on Sunday, less than a month after the disease was first detected in the state. New York state accounts for more than 40% of U.S. deaths from COVID-19. The virus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, has torn through New York with frightening speed.
March 30, 2020
After broaching the possibility of quarantining New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, President Trump backtracked late Saturday, saying a "quarantine will not be necessary." Earlier in the day, the president said he was "looking at" quarantining New York, New Jersey and parts of Connecticut because they had developed as "hot spots" of the coronavirus outbreak. Several hours later, Trump said in a series of tweets that he would instead "issue a strong Travel Advisory" to be administered by governors in consultation with federal officials. Trump said he made the decision on the recommendation of the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
March 30, 2020
Due to extensive community transmission of COVID -19 in the area, CDC urges residents of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately. This Domestic Travel Advisory does not apply to employees of critical infrastructure industries, including but not limited to trucking, public health professionals, financial services, and food supply. These employees of critical infrastructure, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, have a special responsibility to maintain normal work schedules. The Governors of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut will have full discretion to implement this Domestic Travel Advisory.