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US coronavirus deaths top 45,000, rising by near-record amount in single day

US coronavirus deaths top 45,000, rising by near-record amount in single day
April 22, 2020
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US coronavirus deaths topped 45,000 doubling in a little over a week and rising by a near-record amount in a single day, according to a Reuters tally. The US has by far the world's largest number of confirmed coronavirus cases at over 810,000, almost four times as many as Spain, the country with the second-highest number. Globally, cases topped 2.5 million on Tuesday. US deaths increased by more than 2,750 on Tuesday alone, just shy of a peak of 2,806 deaths in a single day on April 15. New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan each reported their highest single-day coronavirus-related death tolls on Tuesday - over 800 between the three states. New York state, the epicenter of the US outbreak, reported 481 new deaths. Health officials have noted that deaths are a lagging indicator of the outbreak, coming weeks after patients fall sick, and do not mean stay-at-home restrictions are failing to slow the spread of the virus. New reported US cases appear to be slowing this week, rising by less than 30,000 a day for the past four days through Tuesday. The United States had a record 35,392 new cases on April 4. States including Georgia and South Carolina eased restrictions on imposed during the pandemic that shut down businesses and largely confined residents to their homes following protests in Michigan, Pennsylvania, California and elsewhere. A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday showed a majority of Americans believed that stay-at-home orders should remain in place until public health officials determine that lifting them is safe, despite the damage to the US economy. The measures have forced more than 22 million people to apply for unemployment benefits in the last month and caused oil prices to crash as the pandemic has obliterated demand for fuel. Trump agrees to help New York US President Donald Trump agreed to have the federal government help procure chemical reagents and other supplies needed for New York to double its testing capacity for the novel coronavirus, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday. Cuomo, speaking at a briefing after meeting with Trump in Washington earlier in the day, also said the president indicated he would work to get federal funding to states in the next financial aid legislation to be passed by Congress. With coronavirus-related hospitalizations trending lower in New York, Cuomo has in the past few days turned his attention to the challenge of widespread testing, which he has said would be critical to getting New Yorkers back to work. Cuomo said Trump had agreed in their White House meeting to have the federal government take charge of securing materials that the manufacturers who supply New York's state labs have struggled to procure from overseas. The governor added that it was up to his state to help the labs boost their testing capacity and to organize the workforce needed to take more samples from the population. "That is an intelligent division of labor," Cuomo told the briefing. "Let each level of government do what it does best." Cuomo said New York would aim to double the number of people it tests each day - including diagnostic and antibody tests - to 40,000. He characterized it as "an enormous undertaking" that would take several weeks, without being specific on timing. New York, which is the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, has reported 257,000 cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus, and nearly 20,000 deaths, accounting for nearly half of the country's fatalities. Along with other governors, Cuomo has called on the federal government to provide direct cash assistance to the states, a request that has so far gone unanswered in the stimulus packages passed by Congress. The National Governors Association has called on Congress to grant a total of $500 billion to all states to help shore up battered finances. New York, which is facing a $10 billion to $15 billion budget shortfall, needs the infusion of cash to pay the salaries of teachers, police officers, healthcare workers, Cuomo said. "You know the state governments are broke," Cuomo said, adding that Trump had indicated he understood the situation and had said he would "work hard" to get funding for the states in the next round of legislation.