US is first country reporting more than 100K COVID-19 cases
The US is now home to about 17 percent of the world’s coronavirus cases.
More and more states have issued stay-at-home orders as overwhelmed hospitals have pleaded for more supplies as the pandemic continues to intensify.
Confirmed cases have soared over the past few days. At the beginning of last week, March 16, the United States had reported just 4,226 people had fallen ill from the virus.
Medical workers in New York City, the country’s epicenter for the outbreak, have reported disastrous scenes from within hospitals. Mayor de Blasio said Friday that supplies to fight the virus in the city could run out in little over a week.
“After next Sunday, April 5, is when I get very very worried about everything we’re going to need,” de Blasio said during an evening briefing.
President Donald Trump spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping and said Friday he hoped to two countries could come together to share insights on the virus to better fight the pandemic.
The president also promised to dramatically increase the number of ventilators in the country over the next several months. After first invoking the Defense Production Act last week, he first used the act on Friday to order General Motors to build ventilators.
“In the next 100 days, we will either make or get in some form over 100,000 additional units. In the next 100 days we will receive over three times the number of ventilators made during a regular year in the United States,” Trump said during the daily briefing of the Coronavirus Task Force.
Congress on Friday also gave final approval to a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package — the largest stimulus deal in the country’s history — which Trump promptly signed into law.
The package includes $500 billion in direct checks to American families, with adult earners making less than $75,000 to receive $1,200.
The law also secures $500 billion in small business loans, $150 billion in hospital funding and a $150 billion relief fund for state and local governments, among other measures.