More than 50,000 people in the United States died from the CCP virus as of Friday, a grim reminder that the pandemic is still claiming lives even after its apparent peak.
The United States had the most deaths and confirmed COVID-19 cases of any country in the world besides China—the statistics from which remain a mystery. More than 883,000 cases were confirmed in the United States as of Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Although outbreaks are still appearing throughout the nation, 46 states reported a decline in patients showing COVID-19 symptoms, according to the White House. In the past week, 23 states reported declines in new cases.
In New York, the epicenter of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, the disease the virus causes, has declined every day for more than a week. A recent test for antibodies suggested that as many as one in five New Yorkers overcame the virus and developed immunity without showing symptoms.
Armed with the data, states are making plans to lift shutdown orders and get the economy rolling. It remains to be seen how quickly the country can remedy the historic job losses incurred as Americans stayed home to do their part in mitigating the outbreak. More than 26 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in the past four weeks.
President Donald Trump on Friday signed a $484 billion stimulus bill meant with funds for businesses, hospitals, and expanded testing. The bill was the fourth such measure enacted this year in what has become the largest fiscal stimulus spree in U.S. history.
The United States has carried out more than 4.9 million COVID-19 tests as of Thursday, according to Vice President Mike Pence, the leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Pence told reporters at the White House on Thursday that areas with some of the biggest outbreaks “appear to be past their peak,” as hospitalizations decline across the country.
“Our only conclusion is that we’re getting there, America, because the American people have put into practice the President’s guidelines of social distancing, because you’ve been listening and adhering to the guidance of state and local officials,” Pence said. “We’re making meaningful progress.”
The White House issued guidance to governors more than a week ago, suggesting a phased, data-informed approach to reopening. Trump has been eager to open the country back up, but wary of doing so too soon, calling the dilemma the greatest decision of his life. The president left it up to individual governors to come up with reopening plans.
In New York, the president’s home state, more than 16,300 people died from the CCP virus. As hospitalizations and other metrics show that the state’s outbreak is on the decline, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday warned that reopening now may result in a second wave of infections by mid-summer. New York’s shutdown order is in effect until May 15.
The CCP virus killed more than 194,000 people worldwide, although the number is incomplete because China appears to have severely underreported the extent of its outbreak.