WASHINGTON — The United States on Friday recorded at least 1,000 COVID-19 deaths in a single day, a sad milestone in the nation’s war to stop the spread of the novel virus, according to figures maintained by Johns Hopkins University.
The figure increased the national death count to 6,921 as of Friday afternoon. Nationally, there are more than 261,438 confirmed cases. That figure is higher than what any other country has confirmed, although U.S. officials believe China and some governments may be underreporting case numbers.
On Thursday, the worldwide caseload eclipsed 1 million. More than 56,767 have died and more than 223,000 have recovered.
In the United States, New York remains the hardest-hit area. Gov. Andew Cuomo said Friday the state had its deadliest day thus far with more than 562 dead, raising the total count there to 2,935.
In California, there are more than 11,300 confirmed cases, according to a tally maintained by the Los Angeles Times. At least 250 have died.
Non-essential businesses across the world have shuttered, and large-scale events, including the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, have been postponed.
With commerce disrupted worldwide, stock markets across the world have plummeted while unemployment rises. Nearly 10 million Americans sought unemployment benefits in the final two weeks of March. The U.S. economy has likely already slipped into recession.
Experts project America’s economic output could fall as much as 9% this year — more than three times the sharpest drop during the Great Recession, according to some predictions. At the height of the Great Depression in 1932, the economy shrank a record 12.9%.
Congress last month passed a $2.2 trillion economic rescue package to provide relief to industries and individuals. The IRS is set to send direct deposits of up to $1,200 to many adults starting as early as next week, although some people may not receive payment until late this summer or into the fall. The Treasury Department is set to provide billions of dollars in emergency loans for businesses that have been hurt.
Democratic lawmakers and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin say there is likely to be additional legislation needed, although action is unlikely until late this month at the earliest.
The virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has spread rapidly to every continent but Antarctica. Europe in March emerged as the next hotbed and America is projected to take its place. As in Italy and Spain, U.S. doctors are finding it increasingly difficult to find supplies to treat the sick.
President Donald Trump earlier this week extended social distancing guidelines to the end of April.
Singapore, Vietnam and Hong Kong were among the earliest countries to be hit by the novel coronavirus and have made progress in keeping the disease largely under control. Those governments have begun imposing new restrictions as the numbers of infections — many carried by travelers — continue to rise.
(Times reporter Don Lee contributed to this report.)
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