U.S. Records More Than 1,200 Coronavirus Deaths in a Single Day
By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter
April 7, 2020
The United States recorded its deadliest day yet with more than 1,200 people dying from the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, over the last 24 hours, data collected by Johns Hopkins University showed Tuesday. Nearly 11,000 people in the U.S. have died since the outbreak began.
Meanwhile, despite warnings from public health officials, voters in Wisconsin will head to the polls to vote in their state's primary today after an executive order from Gov. Tony Evers was rejected by the state's Supreme Court.
And in a sign the economy could be in for a rough year, lawmakers in Congress say they are already working on another stimulus package to cushion the economic blow dealt by the coronavirus
Here is your COVID-19 update for Wednesday, April 7, 2020:
U.S. Records More Than 1,200 Coronavirus Deaths in a Single Day
Health officials in the United States reported the highest number of daily deaths from the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, with 1,264 people dying over a 24 hour period, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University.
New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have emerged as some of the hardest hit states by the virus in the U.S. New York accounts for more than one-third of the deaths alone in the U.S. with more than 3,485 killed by the virus since the outbreak began.
During Sunday's daily briefing by the White House Coronavirus Task Force, President Donald Trump acknowledged the next two weeks would be "very difficult" for Americans.
"We all have to reach a certain point and that point is going to be a horrific point in terms of death," Trump said.
Projections released by the White House last week showed that up to 240,000 people could be killed by the virus over the next few months. However, the model used by the administration revised that figure downward on Monday after more data showed that the pandemic may peak earlier in the U.S. than expected. That means fewer hospital beds, ventilators and other types of equipment would be needed than previously projected.
However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said if people continued to social distance and "keep our foot on the accelerator" by staying at home, he was "cautiously optimistic" that the U.S. could avoid the worst of the projections.
"I don't think anyone has ever mitigated the way I'm seeing people mitigate right now," Fauci said.
At least 10,993 people have been killed by the virus in the U.S. as of 9 a.m. ET.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Receives Oxygen Support While in Intensive Care
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who became one of the world's first major leaders diagnosed with the coronavirus nearly two weeks ago, has received oxygen support after he was transferred to intensive care on Monday. However, Johnson has not been placed on a ventilator, officials in London said Tuesday.
Speaking with national radio, LBC, Cabinet Officer Minister Michael Gove said Johnson was not on a ventilator and "has received some oxygen support," and that he was being kept under "close supervision."
Johnson is reportedly breathing without assistance and has not been diagnosed with pneumonia.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has been deputized to take on some of Johnson's duties "where necessary" and has the authority to run the British government during the health crisis.
So far, more than 52,000 cases of the coronavirus and at least 5,380 deaths have been reported in the United Kingdom, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Second Round of Stimulus Checks Could Be Coming Later This Month
During a briefing from the White House Coronavirus Task Force on Monday, President Donald Trump floated the possibility of a second round of stimulus payments for the millions of Americans who have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
“We could very well do a second round,” Trump said. “It is absolutely under serious consideration.”
Three rounds of stimulus have already been passed by Congress and signed by Trump, including the latest $2.2 trillion economic recovery package that includes send one-time payments of up to $1,200 for individuals making up to $75,000 and $2,400 to couples to couples making up to $150,000.
In a letter addressed to House members, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was moving forward on crafting another coronavirus-relief package that would include increased unemployment benefits, more direct payments to Americans and extend further assistance for small businesses. Pelosi hopes to bring the fourth stimulus bill to members for a vote by later this month.
“Our communities cannot afford to wait, and we must move quickly. It is my hope that we will craft this legislation and bring it to the floor later this month,” Pelosi said in her letter.
News of a second economic stimulus package comes after a record number of Americans filed for unemployment over the last two weeks - 6.6 million last week and more than 3.3 million the week before.
Wisconsin Residents Head For The Polls Amid Stay-At-Home Order
Voters in Wisconsin are heading to the polls today after an effort by Gov. Tony Evers to postpone the Wisconsin primary was rejected by a conservative majority by the state's Supreme Court.
Evers attempted to postpone the state's primary election amid the coronavirus pandemic after his state confirmed more than 2,500 cases of COVID-19. At least 85 people have died in the state from the virus.
"People have bled, fought and died for the right to vote in this country," Evers said in a statement. "But tomorrow in Wisconsin, thousands will wake up and have to choose between exercising their right to vote and staying healthy and safe."
"In this time of historic crisis, it is a shame that two branches of government in this state chose to pass the buck instead of taking responsibility for the health and safety of the people we were elected to serve."
Evers issued an executive order Monday afternoon that the primary be delayed, however, the Republican majority in the state's Legislature sued to block the order as well as bar an extended deadline for absentee votes. Republicans said keeping the election going as scheduled preserves democracy and ensures that the government at all levels continued to function.
The nation's highest court, the U.S. Supreme Court, also knocked down the Democratic governor's attempts to allow voters more time to return their absentee ballots. A record 1.3 million Wisconsin voters requested absentee ballots by Monday, but according to the Wisconsin Election Commission, about 43% of those voters had not yet returned their ballot. Some voters say they requested absentee ballots several weeks ago and still had not received them before Tuesday's primary.
A shortage of poll workers has also led to dozens of polling locations shutting down - for example in Milwaukee, the city's election commission was forced to reduce the number of polling places to five for the 40,000 to 50,000 voters who are expected to vote today.
Polls opened at 7 a.m. Tuesday despite warnings from health officials who said that voting in person would "without question" lead to further illnesses and deaths.
China Reports First Day Without Any Coronavirus Deaths
In a bit of encouraging news out of China where the pandemic began, no new confirmed cases, no new suspected cases, and no new deaths were recorded in China on April 6, health officials said.
Residents in Wuhan, China, where the pandemic is thought to have originated, residents are preparing for the strict lockdown measures put into place to be lifted. Residents there will be allowed to move in and out of the city for the first time since they went into lockdown on Jan. 23. The city has been slowly getting back to normal since last week, with subway and transit service resuming and some businesses, supermarkets and shopping malls allowed to reopen.
China's official number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 stand at 82,718, with at least 3,335 people killed by the virus.
To keep up to date on the latest news about the coronavirus and to understand what you need to stay safe and healthy, check out the Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction podcast from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
Photos: Getty Images