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 of ‘a very, very painful two weeks’ ahead for the country, when experts anticipate the contagion will peak in ferocity.
Fears that the U.S. is on track to become the new Italy, whose healthcare system has buckled under the weight of the pandemic, are fast becoming a reality.
US President Donald Trump stands beside a graph showing the projected coronavirus figures on Tuesday. The president warned there were ‘a very, very painful two weeks’ ahead
Italy has recorded more deaths, with 12,428 as of Tuesday afternoon. However, the U.S. has far surpassed its number of confirmed cases, with the U.S. reaching 189,199 to Italy’s 105,792.
The mounting crisis hit close to home for New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo, who reported teary-eyed that his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, had tested positive for the virus.
The governor pronounced the disaster unlike any other the city has weathered: ‘This is ongoing and the duration itself is debilitating and exhausting and depressing.’
New York was the nation’s deadliest hot spot, with about 1,550 deaths statewide, most of them in New York City, which braced for things to get much worse in the coming weeks.
Volunteers from the International Christian relief organization Samaritans Purse set up an Emergency Field Hospital for patients suffering from the coronavirus in Central Park across Fifth Avenue from Mt. Sinai Hospital on Tuesday
A dead body is put into the back of a hearse by workers at Brooklyn Hospital Center on Tuesday
A 1,000-bed emergency hospital set up at the mammoth Javits Convention Center began taking non-coronavirus patients to help relieve the city’s overwhelmed health system.
A Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds that arrived on Monday was expected to begin accepting patients on Tuesday.
The indoor tennis center that is the site of the U.S. Open tournament is being turned into a hospital as well.
The city also worked to bring in 250 out-of-town ambulances and 500 paramedics to deal with a crush of emergency calls.
The fire commissioner said ambulances are responding to double their normal daily total of 3,000 calls to 911.
A five-day stretch last week was the busiest in the history of the city’s emergency services operation.
In addition, New York authorities sought to bring on more volunteer health care professionals and hoped to have them on board by Thursday.
The hospital ship has been drafted in to help relieve the strain on local hospitals with its 1,000 beds and 1,200 personnel
Nearly 80,000 former nurses, doctors and others are said to be stepping forward, and the governor said officials are doing background checks for disciplinary actions and otherwise making sure they are fit for duty.
As for Chris Cuomo, the 49-year-old TV newsman tweeted that he has suffered from fever, chills and shortness of breath and will be doing his shows from his basement, where he has quarantined himself.
He said he is worried about infecting his wife and children but added: ‘We will all beat this by being smart and tough and united!’
‘Luckily we caught it early enough,’ the governor said. ‘But it’s my family, it’s your family, it’s all of our families. But this virus is that insidious, and we must keep that all in mind.’
In the smoldering hot spot of Louisiana, the death toll climbed to 239.
Louisiana and Michigan were running out of ventilators, despite promises by the White House of more equipment.
Cuomo described the bidding for ventilators as like being ‘on eBay.’
Louisiana’s governor said the hard-hit New Orleans region is on track to run out of breathing machines by the weekend and hospital beds a week later.
Two cruise ships are anchored offshore past a lifeguard tower in Miami Beach
The Trump administration has committed to sending 150 ventilators from the national stockpile, but the state hasn´t received an arrival date.
Michigan said it needs 5,000 to 10,000 more.
Meanwhile, a senior military general said the Pentagon has not yet delivered any of the 2,000 ventilators it offered to the Department of Health and Human Services two weeks ago because HHS has asked it to wait while the agency determines where the devices should go.
In Florida, the Holland America cruise line pleaded with state officials to let two ships dock and carry off the sick and the dead.
Dozens aboard have reported flu-like symptoms, and four people have died.
But Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Fox News: ‘We cannot afford to have people who are not even Floridians dumped into South Florida using up those valuable resources.’
A body wrapped in plastic is unloaded from a refrigerated truck and handled by medical workers wearing personal protective equipment due to COVID-19 concerns
A Samaritan’s Purse crew and medical personnel work on preparing to open a 68 bed emergency field hospital specially equipped with a respiratory unit in New York’s Central Park
As the crisis continues to hot up in the U.S., China reported just one new death from the coronavirus and 48 new cases, all of them from overseas.
In Wuhan, people were ready to ‘revenge shop’ as the city that was once at the very center of the outbreak reopened for business.
However, Dr. Takeshi Kasai, the World Health Organization’s regional director for the Western Pacific, cautioned that the risk in Asia and the Pacific is not gone.
‘This is going to be a long-term battle and we cannot let down our guard,’ Kasai said.
Most of China’s 3,309 deaths were in Hubei province, in the outbreak epicenter Wuhan.
However, experts and politicians have cast doubt on the numbers coming out of China, and have even accused the country of lying and covering up key information during virtually every stage of its coronavirus response.
Beijing initially tried to cover up the virus by punishing medics who discovered it, denying it could spread person-to-person and delaying a lockdown of affected regions – meaning early opportunities to control the spread were lost.
Then, once the virus began spreading, the Communist Party began censoring public information about it and spread disinformation overseas – including suggesting that US troops could have been the initial carriers.
Even now, prominent politicians have warned that infection and death totals being reported by the regime are likely to be wrong – with locals in the epicenter of Wuhan suggesting the true tolls could be ten times higher.
Chinese health officials admitted Tuesday that more than 1,500 cases of the virus involving asymptomatic people that had not been previously reported.
Worldwide, more than 800,000 people have been infected and over 40,000 have died, according to the tally from Johns Hopkins University.
Italy and Spain have been some of the hardest hit, accounting for half the deaths so far.
Italy reported that the infection rate appears to be leveling off and new cases could start declining, but that the crisis is far from over.
Spain struggled to fend off the collapse of its hospital system.
DO CHINA’S NUMBERS ADD UP?
China has lied and covered up key information during virtually every stage of its coronavirus response – from the initial outbreak to the number of cases and deaths, and is still not telling the truth, observers, experts and politicians have warned.
Here, Mail Online analysis of Beijing’s actions lays bare the great cover-up of China’s numbers:
China has reported a total of some 82,000 infections from coronavirus, claiming a domestic infection rate of zero for several days in a row recently – even as it eased lockdown restrictions in placed like Hubei.
But, by the country’s own admission, the virus is likely still spreading – via people who have few or no symptoms.
Beijing-based outlet Caixin reported that ‘a couple to over 10 cases of covert infections of the virus are being detected’ in China every day, despite not showing up in official data.
Meanwhile foreign governments have heaped scorn on China’s infection reporting cannot be trusted.
Marco Rubio, a prominent Republican senator and former presidential candidate from the US, tweeted that ‘we have NO IDEA how many cases China really has’ after the US infection total passed Beijing’s official figure.
‘Without any doubt it’s significantly more than what they admit to,’ he added.
Meanwhile the UK government has also cast doubt on China’s reporting, with Conservative minister and former Prime Ministerial candidate Michael Gove claiming the Communist Party could not be trusted.
‘Some of the reporting from China was not clear about the scale, the nature, the infectiousness of this [virus],’ he told the BBC.
Meanwhile sources told the Mail that China’s true infection total could be anything up to 40 times as high as reports had suggested.
Doubt has also been cast on China’s reported death toll from the virus, which currently stands at around 3,300.
Locals in epicenter city Wuhan have been keeping an eye on funeral homes since lockdown restrictions were partly lifted, claiming they have been ‘working around the clock’ to dispose of bodies.
Social media posts estimate that 3,500 urns are being handed out by crematoriums each day, while Caixin reports that one funeral home in the city placed an order for 5,000 urns.
Locals believe that efforts to dispose of the bodies began March 23 and city authorities have said the process will end on or around April 5.
That would mean roughly 42,000 urns handed out in that time frame, ten times the reported figure.
Vladimir Putin’s Russia moved to crack down on quarantine violations and ‘fake news’ about the outbreak.
And China edged closer to normal as stores in the epicenter city of Wuhan began reopening.
Figures on deaths and infections around the world are supplied by government health authorities and compiled by Johns Hopkins.
But the numbers are regarded with skepticism by public health experts because of different counting practices, a lack of testing in places, the numerous mild cases that have been missed, and perhaps government efforts to downplay the severity of the crisis.
For example, in Italy, where the death toll was put at about 12,400, the country’s emergency coordinator, Domenico Arcuri, acknowledged that officials don´t have a handle on how many people are dying at home or in nursing homes.
Still, there was a glimmer of hope there: Dr. Silvio Brusaferro, head of Italy’s institutes of health, said that three weeks into a nationwide lockdown, the hardest-hit country in Europe is seeing the rate of new infections level off.
‘The curve suggests we are at the plateau,’ he said. But ‘arriving at the plateau doesn’t mean we have conquered the peak and we´re done. It means now we should start to see the decline if we continue to place maximum attention on what we do every day.’
With the country’s health care system buckling under the pressure, a field hospital, built in just 10 days, was unveiled at the Milan fairgrounds.
‘We made a promise and we kept it,’ said the head of the project, former civil protection chief Guido Bertolaso, who ended up catching the virus while on the job and had to work from his hospital bed.
In Russia, lawmakers approved harsher punishments, including prison sentences of several years, for violating quarantine rules and spreading misinformation.
The chief doctor at Moscow´s top hospital for coronavirus patients said he tested positive, a week after shaking hands with Putin.
Spain reported more than 840 new deaths, pushing the toll above 8,000 and forcing Madrid to open a second temporary morgue after an ice rink pressed into service last week became overwhelmed.
Dozens of hotels across Spain have been turned into recovery rooms, and authorities are building field hospitals in sports centers, libraries and exhibition halls.
Israel´s Defense Ministry said it has converted a missile-production facility into an assembly line for ventilators.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause severe symptoms like pneumonia.
Among the few positive signs: In Britain, where the number of dead reached nearly 1,800, the medical director of the National Health Service’s operations in England said there is evidence that social distancing is working.