This is a third of the global total.
Washington/New York – The number of
confirmed US coronavirus cases topped 1 million on Tuesday –
representing a third of the global total – even as some states
eased restrictions in the face of an economy battered by the
With President Donald Trump’s economic adviser forecasting
an unemployment rate of more than 16% for April and many
Americans chafing under stay-at-home orders, about a dozen
states were moving to restart their economies despite a lack of
large-scale virus testing.
Public health experts have warned that a premature rollback
of social-distancing policies could cause a surge in new
More than 56,500 Americans have died of Covid-19, the
respiratory illness caused by the virus, with an average of
about 2 000 a day this month, according to a Reuters tally.
The number of confirmed US coronavirus infections passed 1
million and has doubled in 18 days. The actual number of US infections is believed to be higher than the confirmed number of
cases, with state public health officials cautioning that
shortages of trained workers and materials have limited testing
capacity, leaving many infections unrecorded.
About 30% of the American cases have occurred in New York
state, the epicenter of the US outbreak, followed by New
Jersey, Massachusetts, California and Pennsylvania. The virus
was first reported late last year in China and has spread
worldwide. The earliest-known US deaths were in February.
Georgia, at the vanguard of states reopening businesses, on
Monday permitted restaurant dining for the first time in a
month. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Monday he would let
the state’s stay-at-home order expire and begin reopening
businesses including restaurants and retail shops in phases
beginning on Friday.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis met with Trump at the White
House and said he would make an announcement on Wednesday about
how to relax restrictions in his state. DeSantis said he would
review his state’s task force report before making his
The governors of other states, including New York, have put
off easing restrictions out of concern they might fuel a second
wave of infections.
“Everyone is talking about reopening. I get it,” said New
York Governor Andrew Cuomo, adding any decision should not be
made based on politics or emotions or in reaction to protests.
“We want to reopen, but we want to do it without infecting
more people or overwhelming the hospital system,” Cuomo told his
daily briefing, adding that his state’s death toll had grown by
335 in the last day.
Squadrons of US Navy Blue Angels jets and US Air Force
Thunderbirds jets performed a joint flyover in the sky above New
York City in a tribute to frontline responders and essential
workers fighting the pandemic. The planes also were flying over
New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The US Chamber of Commerce, the top lobbying group for the
country’s business sector, called for consistency across
federal, state and local governments to reopen the economy but
urged against any public health guidelines becoming regulations
that could harm businesses as they seek to restart.
74 000 US DEATHS FORECAST
The University of Washington’s model, often cited by White
House officials and state public health authorities, upwardly
revised its projected US coronavirus death toll to more than
74 000 people by August 4, compared with its previous forecast of
The university’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
said late on Monday that the number of US deaths caused by the
virus was not abating as quickly as previously projected after
hitting a daily peak on April 15 with about 2 700.
While most states seem to have passed their peaks in the
pandemic, seven – Hawaii, Mississippi, Texas, Wyoming, Utah,
Nebraska and North Dakota – may be experiencing their peaks now
or in the coming weeks, the model showed.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits over
the past five weeks has soared to 26.5 million, underscoring the
pandemic’s economic impact. Chuck Schumer, the top US Senate
Democrat, said on Tuesday that state and local governments will
be forced to make “massive” layoffs if Congress fails to act
soon to provide financial assistance to help them deal with the
costs of addressing the pandemic.
In another sign of the impact of the pandemic on the
functioning of the nation, the US House of Representatives
will not return to Washington next week as planned, Majority
Leader Steny Hoyer said on Tuesday. Hoyer said House leaders
received a warning from the chamber’s physician that there is a
health risk to lawmakers amid a still-rising number of
infections in the US capital.