The United States has reached yet another dark milestone in the coronavirus pandemic, counting over 1,000 fatalities in the span of 24 hours and shattering the global record for daily deaths as worldwide cases soar past 1 million.
Surpassing both its own one-day record – broken every day this week – as well as that of Italy and Spain, the previous world leaders in daily fatalities, the US reported 1,169 new deaths on Thursday evening, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Already the top Covid-19 hotspot on Earth with nearly 250,000 cases, the surge in deaths comes as outbreaks across all 50 states continue to accelerate, with New York at the top of the list. The Empire state has reported some 92,500 infections, largely clustered around New York City, where both hospitals and morgues are virtually overrun.
Though nearly 90 percent of the US population is now under lockdown orders – varying in severity and enforceability – a top expert on the White House Covid-19 task force, Dr Anthony Fauci, argued the measures were chaotic and ineffective, insisting they should be coordinated nationwide.
“If you look at what’s going on in this country, I just don’t understand why we’re not doing that,” Fauci said during a town hall event hosted by CNN on Thursday, adding “We really should be.”
The White House has also signaled that it would soon issue new federal guidelines for wearing face masks, which health authorities previously said would fail to protect the general public, though a number of cities have already recommended residents wear them, even if homemade. Dr Deborah Birx, coordinator for the Covid-19 task force, warned that the face coverings should not provide a “false sense of security,” however, adding that masks don’t offer absolute protection but will help slow down the spread of the virus.
Header: Medics wheel the body of deceased person in Brooklyn, New York City © Reuters / Brendan Mcdermid