U.S. COVID-19 Cases Surge Past 82,000, Highest Total in World

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has also been vocal this week in his request to the federal government for 30,000 more ventilators before COVID-19 cases reach the projected peak in that state in 14 days.

As of yesterday afternoon, New York state reported 37,258 cases, the most of any state in the country, an increase of more than 7,000 cases in 24 hours. Of those, 21,393 cases are in New York City. During his daily briefing, Cuomo said 5,327 people are currently hospitalized in the state for COVID-19, including 1,290 patients in ICUs.

In both the New York Times and the New York Post, doctors and nurses from some of the busiest hospitals in New York City shared how staff were fashioning protective gowns from garbage bags and allotting one mask per 12-hour shift as hospitals strain under the influx of patients.

Neighboring New Jersey also reported a surge yesterday, 2,492 newly confirmed infections in the past 24 hours, which brings the state’s total to 6,876.

Yesterday on National Public Radio, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of  the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned that other states and cities in the country could look like New York City in the coming weeks. He said a surge of cases in Florida in recent days is telling, and the state may be on the same projection as New York. In the past day, Florida health officials tracked 400 more cases, raising the state’s total to 2,355.

Washington state, the first state hit hard with the novel coronavirus, reported that it has now confirmed 2,580 cases, including 132 deaths.

In other news, the rate of COVID-19 among active US military members has jumped by 60 percent in recent days, according to the Military Times, faster than the rate in civilians. The Department of Defense (DoD) said at least 280 active military members are infected, as well as 294 non-troops within the DoD.

Record Unemployment Claims as Stimulus Bill Advances
New numbers released yesterday show a record 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, in the wake of many losing their jobs in light of COVID-19-fueled layoffs. In the previous week, 281,000 Americans had filed for unemployment. The Washington Post reports as many as 40 million Americans could lose their jobs in the coming months.

The news came as a $2 trillion stimulus bill was making its way to the House, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) promised quick passage of the bill.

Finally yesterday, Politico reports that President Trump and staff have failed to follow a White House National Safety Council pandemic playbook, which urges using the national stockpile to supplement supplies of personal protective equipment for healthcare workers. The playbook was written in 2016, in the wake of the world’s largest Ebola outbreak in West Africa.