National coronavirus updates: Doctor notes US death toll could be much lower than prior projection

The latest:There are more than 424,000 cases in the United States, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.By Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. death toll surpassed 14,000 people.Globally, the number of cases has surpassed 1.5 million with more than 87,000 deaths, Hopkins reports.New York City’s death toll on Tuesday officially eclipsed the number of those killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11, health officials said. President Donald Trump said he will be asking Congress for an additional $250 billion for a paycheck protection program for businesses and their workers. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday that he’s signing an executive order to close all state parks, forests and county parks.Doctor notes US death toll could be much lower than prior projectionWhite House officials noted some positive developments for the country amid the coronavirus outbreak.Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, said we’re doing much better than other countries in the U.S. response to the outbreak.She noted during a White House coronavirus task force meeting Wednesday that one model has been reduced multiple times, going from over 90,000 to 61,000.“That is modeled on what America is doing,” she said, speaking to the prevention efforts communities are doing.Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the coronavirus task force, also talked about the possibility of stabilizing the outbreak.“We continue to see evidence of stabilization. That should be an encouragement to every American,” Pence said.“An encouragement that we may — may be reaching a point where the impact of the coronavirus is beginning to level off,” he said.Pence said that should also be an encouragement to every American to keep doing what the country is doing. He also stressed the importance of social distancing.Dr. Anthony Fauci said you don’t see the positive effects until weeks later. But he warned people not to become complacent. He stressed the need to keep mitigation efforts going.Worldwide cases surpass 1.5 millionThe United States topped 400,000 coronavirus cases Wednesday, and states grappling with the overwhelming numbers are bringing in medical equipment and medication to battle the virus.Johns Hopkins also reports that more than 318,000 people of 1.5 million cases worldwide have recovered from the coronavirus. The nation’s hospitals have struggled to treat the virus as rising cases have put increasing pressure on personal protective equipment and ventilators.But deliveries have sought to alleviate the shortages. California, the state with the fourth highest case count, announced it would begin flying a surplus of 500 ventilators to states in need Tuesday night. One hundred are going to New Jersey, with the second highest count.”We are beyond grateful to @GavinNewsom and the people of California,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted Tuesday. “From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. We will repay the favor when California needs it.”Thirteen overseas flights landed across the U.S. Monday with personal protective equipment as part of a FEMA initiative to expedite supplies, according to a FEMA advisory obtained by CNN. Seven more flights were scheduled for Tuesday.Though there is no approved treatment for the virus, Florida is set to receive a million doses Wednesday of hydroxychloroquine, a drug that some doctors have been using in the fight, according to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Georgia will receive 200,000 doses, U.S. Rep. Doug Collins said. A rush on vaccines and treatmentVaccines typically take years to put out into the public, but officials are racing to develop one for COVID-19 as quickly as possible.Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said the hope is to have one in 12 to 18 months, but other experts say that is an optimistic goal.One vaccine trial administered its first dose last month, and now another vaccine trial has begun.Biotechnology company Inovio began a Phase 1 clinical trial this week and estimates it will be completed late this summer, a spokesperson for Inovio told CNN.”We anticipate rapid enrollment of this initial study,” said Dr. Pablo Tebas, an infectious disease specialist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the study’s principal investigator. “There has been tremendous interest in this vaccine among people who want to do what they can do to help protect the greater public from this pandemic as soon as possible.”In the meantime, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expedited the use of blood plasma treatment for seriously ill patients last month. This week a recovered patient was informed that his plasma donation has been distributed so the antibodies he developed fighting the virus can help another patient do the same.The patient in the worst condition has since improved, Jason Garcia said doctors told him.Economic hit for New York and for individualsThe virus that has taken such a heavy toll on the health of the nation has also wreaked havoc on the economy.Businesses closing down to mitigate the spread of the virus has resulted in leaps in unemployment.About 135,000 Oklahoma residents filed for unemployment, according to Director of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission Richard McPherson. The state’s governor, Kevin Stitts, has called the job losses a crisis.That crisis has also reached Tennessee, where unemployment has seen a “record spike” of more than 250,000 in the last three weeks, Gov. Bill Lee said Tuesday.West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced an additional $600 would be distributed to those who lost their jobs from the coronavirus outbreak in a virtual press conference on Tuesday.With more than 140,000 total cases, the state hit hardest by the virus is also struggling economically.”New York State is broke,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday, adding that the state is facing a loss of $10 billion to $15 billion in revenue.”I urge you to keep fighting for New York State to ensure we have the resources we need to continue to lead the fight against COVID-19 and provide the services New Yorkers rely upon,” Cuomo said.When can students go back to school?Several states have announced that their schools will be closed for the rest of this academic year, and though Dr. Anthony Fauci said it is still too early to know, he is optimistic the country will be in good shape come next school year.”I fully expect, though I’m humble enough to know that I can’t accurately predict that by the time we get to the fall that we will have this under control enough, that it certainly will not be the way it is now where people are shutting schools,” he told reporters at the White House.Fauci said he has a daughter who is a school teacher and she is wondering when the kids can go back.The doctor said it depends on how soon the U.S. gets to the downside of the curve, better identifying those with the disease and what antibody testing reveals about how widespread the virus is.Knowing who is protected and who is vulnerable will help communities make decisions about using classrooms again.”My optimistic side tells me that we’ll be able to renew to a certain extent but it’s going to be different. Remember now, because this (disease) is not going to disappear,” he said.

The latest:

  • There are more than 424,000 cases in the United States, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally.
  • By Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. death toll surpassed 14,000 people.
  • Globally, the number of cases has surpassed 1.5 million with more than 87,000 deaths, Hopkins reports.
  • New York City’s death toll on Tuesday officially eclipsed the number of those killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11, health officials said.
  • President Donald Trump said he will be asking Congress for an additional $250 billion for a paycheck protection program for businesses and their workers.
  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Tuesday that he’s signing an executive order to close all state parks, forests and county parks.

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Doctor notes US death toll could be much lower than prior projection

White House officials noted some positive developments for the country amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, said we’re doing much better than other countries in the U.S. response to the outbreak.

She noted during a White House coronavirus task force meeting Wednesday that one model has been reduced multiple times, going from over 90,000 to 61,000.

“That is modeled on what America is doing,” she said, speaking to the prevention efforts communities are doing.

Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the coronavirus task force, also talked about the possibility of stabilizing the outbreak.

“We continue to see evidence of stabilization. That should be an encouragement to every American,” Pence said.

“An encouragement that we may — may be reaching a point where the impact of the coronavirus is beginning to level off,” he said.

Pence said that should also be an encouragement to every American to keep doing what the country is doing. He also stressed the importance of social distancing.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said you don’t see the positive effects until weeks later. But he warned people not to become complacent. He stressed the need to keep mitigation efforts going.

Worldwide cases surpass 1.5 million

The United States topped 400,000 coronavirus cases Wednesday, and states grappling with the overwhelming numbers are bringing in medical equipment and medication to battle the virus.

Johns Hopkins also reports that more than 318,000 people of 1.5 million cases worldwide have recovered from the coronavirus.

The nation’s hospitals have struggled to treat the virus as rising cases have put increasing pressure on personal protective equipment and ventilators.

But deliveries have sought to alleviate the shortages.

California, the state with the fourth highest case count, announced it would begin flying a surplus of 500 ventilators to states in need Tuesday night. One hundred are going to New Jersey, with the second highest count.

“We are beyond grateful to @GavinNewsom and the people of California,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy tweeted Tuesday. “From the bottom of our hearts, thank you. We will repay the favor when California needs it.”

Thirteen overseas flights landed across the U.S. Monday with personal protective equipment as part of a FEMA initiative to expedite supplies, according to a FEMA advisory obtained by CNN. Seven more flights were scheduled for Tuesday.

Though there is no approved treatment for the virus, Florida is set to receive a million doses Wednesday of hydroxychloroquine, a drug that some doctors have been using in the fight, according to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Georgia will receive 200,000 doses, U.S. Rep. Doug Collins said.

A rush on vaccines and treatment

Vaccines typically take years to put out into the public, but officials are racing to develop one for COVID-19 as quickly as possible.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has said the hope is to have one in 12 to 18 months, but other experts say that is an optimistic goal.

One vaccine trial administered its first dose last month, and now another vaccine trial has begun.

Biotechnology company Inovio began a Phase 1 clinical trial this week and estimates it will be completed late this summer, a spokesperson for Inovio told CNN.

“We anticipate rapid enrollment of this initial study,” said Dr. Pablo Tebas, an infectious disease specialist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the study’s principal investigator. “There has been tremendous interest in this vaccine among people who want to do what they can do to help protect the greater public from this pandemic as soon as possible.”

In the meantime, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expedited the use of blood plasma treatment for seriously ill patients last month. This week a recovered patient was informed that his plasma donation has been distributed so the antibodies he developed fighting the virus can help another patient do the same.

The patient in the worst condition has since improved, Jason Garcia said doctors told him.

Economic hit for New York and for individuals

The virus that has taken such a heavy toll on the health of the nation has also wreaked havoc on the economy.

Businesses closing down to mitigate the spread of the virus has resulted in leaps in unemployment.

About 135,000 Oklahoma residents filed for unemployment, according to Director of the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission Richard McPherson. The state’s governor, Kevin Stitts, has called the job losses a crisis.

That crisis has also reached Tennessee, where unemployment has seen a “record spike” of more than 250,000 in the last three weeks, Gov. Bill Lee said Tuesday.

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced an additional $600 would be distributed to those who lost their jobs from the coronavirus outbreak in a virtual press conference on Tuesday.

With more than 140,000 total cases, the state hit hardest by the virus is also struggling economically.

“New York State is broke,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday, adding that the state is facing a loss of $10 billion to $15 billion in revenue.

“I urge you to keep fighting for New York State to ensure we have the resources we need to continue to lead the fight against COVID-19 and provide the services New Yorkers rely upon,” Cuomo said.

When can students go back to school?

Several states have announced that their schools will be closed for the rest of this academic year, and though Dr. Anthony Fauci said it is still too early to know, he is optimistic the country will be in good shape come next school year.

“I fully expect, though I’m humble enough to know that I can’t accurately predict that by the time we get to the fall that we will have this under control enough, that it certainly will not be the way it is now where people are shutting schools,” he told reporters at the White House.

Fauci said he has a daughter who is a school teacher and she is wondering when the kids can go back.

The doctor said it depends on how soon the U.S. gets to the downside of the curve, better identifying those with the disease and what antibody testing reveals about how widespread the virus is.

Knowing who is protected and who is vulnerable will help communities make decisions about using classrooms again.

“My optimistic side tells me that we’ll be able to renew to a certain extent but it’s going to be different. Remember now, because this (disease) is not going to disappear,” he said.