The United States coronavirus death toll climbed by 1,629 in 24 hours to reach 41,186 on Sunday evening, latest statistics show.
Confirmed cases of the highly infectious illness also soared to a total of 771,980, an increase of 25,596 from the day before.
The ominous milestone came as Harvard researchers warned that if the country hopes to permanently open back up any time soon, then coronavirus testing efforts must increased nationwide by at least 500,000 people per day.
Currently the nation is testing at a far less efficient rate of only 150,000 people per day. Only 3,865,864 Americans have been tested in total, little over one percent of the US total population.
‘If we can’t be doing at least 500,000 tests a day by May 1, it is hard to see any way we can remain open,’ experts from the Harvard Global Health Institute warned.
The United States coronavirus death toll climbed by 1,161 in 24 hours to reach 40,276 on Sunday evening, latest statistics show
Contrary to the warnings, several states are looking to lift lockdown orders and return to normalcy as soon as possible.
But for some, action is not being taken quickly enough. Hundreds-strong crowds gathered in Colorado, Tennessee, Oregon, Illinois, California, Montana and Washington State on Sunday to protest state lockdown measures, as a fervent disdain for the restrictions that have shut down much of the country’s economy continues to slowly spread across the US.
Conducted by Dr. Ashish Jha, faculty director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, Dr. Thomas Tsai, and Benjamin Jacobson, the research on the testing shortfall also warned the number of positive tests must significantly decrease before lockdowns can be lifted.
Currently in the US, 20 percent of those who are tested for coronavirus test positive. The World Health Organization has said that to reopen, that number should be between 3 percent to 12 percent.
As part of its three-part guideline released last week, the White House instructed that states who have seen a continued decrease in cases over a two week period can commence the first phase of reopening.
However, experts have long said that the major determining factor behind any governor’s decision to reopen their economies should be testing.
You shall not pass: A group of healthcare workers stood in the street to counter-protest the calls for re-opening in Denver, Colorado, silently obstructing cars as they drove down towards the Capitol, dressed in scrubs and facemasks
Photographs captured the nurses standing in front of a number of vehicles staring back at the drivers with their arms crossed, refusing to move under a cacophony of horns and heckles
Demonstrators flocked to the state Capitol in their hundreds to urge Gov. Jared Polis to lift COVID-19-induced stay-at-home orders
President Trump and Mike Pence have repeatedly said that each state has ample means of testing to begin the first phase, however several governors have refuted those claims.
Among them, is Maryland Gov. Ralph Northam of Maryland, who called the president’s assertions ‘delusional’, adding that his state doesn’t even have enough swabs to conduct widespread testing.
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have also voiced concerns.
Speaking to NBC, DeWine said he could perhaps triple Ohio’s testing capacity overnight if the US Food and Drug Administration would prioritize companies that use a different formula in producing their analysis kits.
Meanwhile, Whitmer said she is ready to double or triple capacity but can’t get enough swabs and the reagents used to analyze tests.
‘I’m glad to see that the White House recommended opening in phases,’ she said. ‘We can’t just turn back to what life was like before Covid-19. We have to be strategic. We have to be careful. We have to look at different sectors of our economy.’
Trump blasted the governor’s complaints on Sunday, retoring that testing is ‘a local thing’, and that governors ‘can’t have it both ways’, because they wanted to have control over reopening their states – therefore testing isn’t the federal government’s responsibility.
The President also referenced the protests Sunday, appearing to support the nationwide rallies despite their defiance of state stay-at-home orders.
‘I’ve seen the people. I’ve seen interviews of the people. These are great people, Trump said. ‘They’ve got cabin fever. They want their lives back.’
The President also referenced the protests Sunday, appearing to support the nationwide rallies despite their defiance of state stay-at-home orders
The president rejected the assertion that he was inciting violence with his words of encouragement, as one reporter pointed out that governors around the country were seeing an uptick in death threats.
‘No, I am not. I’ve never seen so many American flags,’ Trump said. ‘These people love our country. They want to get back to work.’
The reporter then pointed out that some protesters had waved Nazi flags.
The president said he was, clearly, against that from happening.
Trump also signaled support for similar demonstrations earlier in the week. After a public fall-out with several governors over his wrongful claims to have ‘absolute power’ to reopen the US economy earlier this week, Trump encouraged demonstrators in Michigan, Virginia, Minnesota, to ‘liberate’ their states, claiming their Second Amendment was ‘under siege’.
A day earlier, Trump cited ‘positive signs’ in the fight against the pandemic on Saturday, believing the worst is now over.
‘We continue to see a lot of positive signs that the virus has passed its peak,’ the President said, just days after the White House issued guidelines for the gradual reopening of the country.
The president rejected the assertion that he was inciting violence with his words of encouragement, as one reporter pointed out that governors around the country were seeing an uptick in death threats
After a week in what Trump described as an indicator that the worst of the crisis is behind us, the president says he will now shift his focus to kickstarting an economic recovery after four-weeks of lockdowns.
Trump said that Texas and Vermont will allow some business to re-open next week, with strict social distancing measures still being enforced.
Residents in Florida and other states returned to the beach Saturday despite an increase in COVID-19 deaths and infections. Meanwhile, three Northeastern states reopened boatyards and marinas for personal use only.
Other states are expected to gradually ease lockdown restrictions while other states, such as New York, have issued no indication that measures will be relaxed any time soon.
Nationwide, food banks are reportedly struggling to meet increased demand from out-of-work Americans, while school systems are largely shuttered, with home schooling plans in place.
The rollout of CARES Act stimulus checks has provided some temporary relief, but there are still reports of an unemployment system that is overwhelmed by new applications, resulting in workers being unable to register.