The United States has counted more than 2,000 Covid-19 fatalities in the space of 24 hours, smashing all previous daily death tolls worldwide as the US outbreak shows little sign of abating, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Some 2,108 new deaths were reported in the US on Friday, data gathered by Johns Hopkins shows, putting the US total at over 18,600, just shy of Italy’s, the overall leader in fatalities globally.
After Thursday’s casualty count saw a brief drop-off, deaths again surged on Friday, the country’s deadliest day yet.
Though US President Donald Trump has stated the US’ epidemic is nearing its peak, the latest projections by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – reported by the New York Times on Friday – forecast a steep spike in cases and deaths over the summer if states and cities lift 30-day stay-at-home orders now in place, positing up to 200,000 deaths and some 100 million infections in total.
With social distancing guidelines provided by federal agencies set to expire at the end of April, the president is now mulling whether to extend them further yet again, calling it “the biggest decision I’ve ever had to make.”
Trump has been eager to see all lockdown measures revoked and the US economy back up and running, but over time has become more reluctant to do so prematurely.
New York remains the hardest-hit US state, reporting nearly 800 new deaths on Friday alone among a total of over 7,800, however Governor Andrew Cuomo said the “curve” of new cases and fatalities was beginning to flatten, with the number of patients in intensive care falling on Friday for the first time in its outbreak.
The fast-spreading virus has infected just shy of 1.7 million people and killed some 102,000 worldwide since the pandemic began late last year, quickly sweeping over 180 countries. While cases in the US crossed the half million threshold on Friday – accounting for nearly one-third of the world’s infections – regionally Europe has tallied more among several nations, with Spain, Italy, France and Germany reporting well over 120,000 cases each, and several others with more than 20,000.