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Coronavirus Takes No Weekend Break as US Death Toll Rises

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By David E. Hubler
Contributor, In Homeland Security 

Over the weekend, the number of new cases of the coronavirus in the U.S. continued to increase; so did the number of fatalities.

As of last Friday evening, the U.S. had at least 101,242 known cases of coronavirus and 1,588 deaths.

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Earlier that day, President Trump signed into law a $2 trillion stimulus package to fight the devastating spread of COVID-19.

“The virus has hit New York and Washington [State] especially hard but a new wave of coronavirus hot spots is already emerging,” CNN said. “Chicago, Detroit and New Orleans are seeing a rapid increase of cases and officials there and in many other cities say they don’t have enough medical resources.”

Almost 700 Positive Tests for Coronavirus among NYPD Police Officers

On Saturday, an NYPD announcement said that at least “696 members of the New York Police Department tested positive for coronavirus.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a health alert Saturday, warning against the use of non-pharmaceutical chloroquine phosphate to treat COVID-19. “Chloroquine phosphate is a chemical for aquarium use because it kills algae. It’s commercially available for purchase at stores and online,” the CDC said.

The national health alert came in response to reports that a man in the Phoenix area of Arizona died and his wife was hospitalized after they ingested the chemical. They allegedly believed it could protect against the coronavirus.

Trump Backs Away from Plan to Reopen Businesses by Easter Sunday

On Sunday, after first suggesting that he would like to get Americans back to work by April 12, President Trump changed his mind. Sunday evening he told Americans “to avoid nonessential travel and gatherings of more than 10 people until at least April 30,” The New York Times reported.

He adjusted his self-created timetable after “Two of the top doctors advising the White House on the coronavirus pandemic went together to the Oval Office with some sobering data to present to President Trump,” the Times explained.

New Estimate Puts Potential US Death Toll at 200,000

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Monday morning, that the data shown to the President indicated that as many as 200,000 Americans could die during the outbreak “even with the aggressive measures in place in to slow the spread of the virus.”

A Navy hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, with 1,000 beds and a potential of 12 operating rooms, arrived in Manhattan on Monday morning. “The Comfort will be used to treat non-coronavirus patients while hospitals treat people with COVID-19, the disease that causes the virus,” the Associated Press explained.

By Monday morning, the death toll had climbed above 1,000 across the state with 776 deaths in New York City alone, the AP added. The largest city in the U.S. is now the epicenter of the nation’s pandemic.

David E. Hubler brings a variety of government, journalism and teaching experience to his position as a Quality Assurance Editor. David’s professional background includes serving as a senior editor at CIA and the Voice of America. He has also been a managing editor for several business-to-business and business-to-government publishing companies.

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