US nears peak death rate with New York confirming more coronavirus cases than any country

Members of a National Academy of Sciences committee told the White House that it doesn't look like coronavirus will go away once the weather warms up. The prestigious scientific panel said data is mixed on whether coronavirus spreads as easily in warm weather as it does in cold weather. CNN's Don Lemon speaks with Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg, the committee's chairman, about the findings.

Posted: Apr 9, 2020 8:54 AM
Updated: Apr 10, 2020 6:45 AM


The New York governor signed an order to bring in additional funeral directors as the number of coronavirus cases in the state outpaced all countries except the United States.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's executive order will make it easier for licensed funeral directors from other states to practice in New York.

At least 16,686 people have died of coronavirus in the US -- nearly half of them in New York. Of the 466,299 total confirmed cases nationwide, about 162,000 are in New York, data from Johns Hopkins University shows.

The US is set to reach its highest daily number of deaths on or around Sunday, according to models by the prominent Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in Seattle.

It estimated that 60,415 in the US would die of coronavirus by August, assuming social distancing policies continue through May. That projection is down from the 82,000 it predicted earlier this week.

Even though the model lowered its nationwide numbers, it issued key differences by region and state. For example, New York saw an increase in total projected deaths.

The New York City's office of Chief Medical Examiner issued a memo extending the time a body is kept in custody to 14 days. Hart Island, which has served as a public cemetery for decades, is serving as a resting place for unclaimed coronavirus victims, New York officials said.

Queens funeral director Patrick Kearns said the extension will help with the influx of victims. He's receiving 30 to 40 calls a day, he said, the same number he'd get in a typical month before the pandemic hit.

Social distancing appears to be working, officials say

While states prepare for the peak period, experts say it appears social distancing is working.

In New York, Cuomo said Thursday that the number of people hospitalized in the state is going down but deaths have gone up. He described the deaths as a lagging indicator, saying those who don't make it tend to have been hospitalized the longest.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, echoed a similar sentiment.

'At the same time as we're seeing the increase in deaths, we're seeing a rather dramatic decrease in the need for hospitalizations,' Fauci said. 'That means that what we are doing is working and therefore we need to continue to do it.'

Social distancing is playing a crucial role in the fight against coronavirus, said Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

'We're not defenseless. This virus has a very significant weakness, it can't swim 7 feet,' he said.

Some states remain cautiously optimistic with the latest developments. In Connecticut, Gov. Ned Lamont said new hospitalizations are dropping while Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced that the state has the lowest number of hospitalizations per 100,000 people compared to other neighboring states.

In Ohio, while the number of coronavirus-related deaths continues to increase, the number of people impacted by the virus is lower than previously projected, Gov. Mike DeWine said.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state has seen a 1.9% drop of people in ICU, and the stay-at-home order appears to be working.

'I think we're seeing the consequences of that when we see that our mortality rate is really a lot lower than what have been predicted, and it really shows that this mitigation works,' Redfield said. 'I think we're coming to the peak, as we sit here today, where we're able to see the other side of the curve, and we'll see this outbreak continue to decline over the weeks ahead.'

While maintaining social distancing measures appears to be holding down the spread in some areas, reopening the country will require a strategy and understanding the extent of the transmission, experts say.

'It's not going to be one size fits all. It's going to be using the data that we have from surveillance to really understand where it is the most important places for us to begin to reopen,' Redfield said.

Americans have the potential to take summer vacations this year -- as long as they continue aggressive mitigation efforts now and get to a place where they can be modified, Fauci said.

CDC won't recommend hydroxychloroquine, director says

As coronavirus ravages the world, states are rushing to get hydroxychloroquine, an antimalarial drug that President Donald Trump has touted as potential treatment and a 'game changer.'

The drug has not been fully tested but some states are gathering doses for their patients. The CDC's Redfield said he does not recommend the drug.

'At this stage, at this moment in time, we're not recommending it, but we're not, not recommending that,' Redfield said. 'We're recommending for the physician and the patient to have that discussion.'

The CDC removed its website guidelines for doctors on how to prescribe hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine. Trump has pressed federal health officials to make the drugs more widely available despite little reliable evidence that they are effective at treating the virus.

'We're very comfortable in responding when we have data that is compelling,' Redfield said Thursday on CNN's Global Town Hall. 'CDC, as an organization ... we're not an opinion organization. We're a science-based data driven organization. So I do think this is going to be an independent decision of these health care providers and patients.'

Despite the lack of a vaccine, the CDC is preparing for what could happen next year, which is expected to be challenging as well, Redfield said, adding that proactive steps will change the way the country deals with another outbreak.

'That includes early case identification, isolating people who are sick and tracing those that the person has come into contact with while they were contagious,' he said. 'We don't have to go through the serious mitigation steps that we're taking to get us under control.'

The economy takes a major hit

Social distancing is helping keep coronavirus deaths down, but it's also having a major effect on the economy.

About 6.6 million people filed claims for unemployment benefits last week, data released Thursday shows. That means more than 16.8 million Americans have sought unemployment aid since mid-March.

And 45 economists say the United States is already in a recession and will remain that way for the first half of the year. They predicted a sharp, short recession for the first half of 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic severely restricts economic activity.

Economic growth likely fell at a rate of 2.4% in the first quarter, and will decline a staggering 26.5% in the second quarter, the survey from the National Association for Business Economics found.

Despite the abrupt downturn, the economists are optimistic the economy will bounce back in the latter half of 2020, growing at a rate of nearly 6% by the end of the year.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319704

Reported Deaths: 7369
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22276267
Hinds20677421
Harrison18407317
Rankin13880282
Jackson13689248
Madison10249224
Lee10056176
Jones8464167
Forrest7827153
Lauderdale7260242
Lowndes6509150
Lamar634888
Lafayette6310121
Washington5420137
Bolivar4837133
Panola4669110
Oktibbeha466098
Pearl River4604147
Marshall4573105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425373
Union415777
Monroe4155135
Neshoba4061179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386687
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3369111
Alcorn325972
Scott320174
Yazoo314171
Adams307486
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298189
Tippah291968
Prentiss283861
Leake271974
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George252051
Newton248663
Tishomingo231568
Winston229981
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Clay187854
Stone187833
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135347
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127138
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108033
Tunica108027
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69532
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548323

Reported Deaths: 11288
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809531565
Mobile42066826
Madison35663525
Tuscaloosa26162458
Shelby25595254
Montgomery25081612
Baldwin21839313
Lee16265176
Calhoun14718325
Morgan14626285
Etowah14171363
Marshall12449230
Houston10764288
Elmore10295213
Limestone10182157
St. Clair10160251
Cullman9941201
Lauderdale9596249
DeKalb8967189
Talladega8458184
Walker7335280
Autauga7230113
Blount6944139
Jackson6922113
Colbert6414140
Coffee5627127
Dale4929114
Russell454941
Chilton4472116
Franklin431083
Covington4273122
Tallapoosa4136155
Escambia401780
Chambers3726124
Dallas3607156
Clarke352961
Marion3242106
Pike314078
Lawrence3129100
Winston283572
Bibb268464
Geneva257581
Marengo250665
Pickens236862
Barbour234659
Hale226878
Butler224071
Fayette218162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph187044
Monroe179341
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155657
Cleburne153244
Lamar146537
Lowndes142054
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh113430
Coosa111429
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93534
Choctaw62025
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
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Hi: 90° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 82°
Columbus
Partly Cloudy
76° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 76°
Oxford
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 79°
Starkville
Partly Cloudy
75° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 75°
We continue to monitor a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico. This will be in heavy rainfall two locations across the southeast over the course of the weekend, and flooding rainfall could be in tow as well. Things are looking better for Father’s Day itself, thankfully.
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