The U.S. coronavirus death toll hit a new high on Wednesday. Over 4,300 people have died from the pandemic, surpassing the number of people killed on September 11. Ironically, the majority of those deaths (1,900) have occurred in New York state.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has issued a stay-at-home order goes into effect on Friday. The state’s first drive-thru coronavirus testing site closed its appointment hotline after nearly 2,000 appointments were made in one day. Florida has one of the highest numbers of coronavirus cases in the country.
Considering the grim reality of the pandemic, Vice President Mike Pence tried to encourage the American public to continue to save lives by following rules set to curb the spread of the virus. In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Pence said the worst of the coronavirus for the U.S. could be over by early June if all guidelines are followed.
“I hope people look at what happens if all of us continue to do our part, and that is by sometime in early June, we could well have the coronavirus largely behind us as a nation, reopen our country, put America back to work,” Pence said. But Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said that social distancing appears to be helping, we could see another surge of the coronavirus in the fall.
Beloved Brooklyn judge Johnny Lee Baynes has died from coronavirus-related complications. The 64-year-old Howard University graduate once famously stopped New York’s Health Department and SUNY from closing Long Island College Hospital in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Lisa Ottley recalls, “You were heard in his courtroom. He was just a very wonderful individual. This thing is insane. Coronavirus has really had a tremendous effect on a lot of us.”
Black elected leaders in Charlotte, North Carolina are voicing concern over reports of the coronavirus and blacks in Mecklenburg County. According to demographic data released by health officials, African-Americans in the Charlotte area appear to be disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
Data showed black residents accounted for 43.9% of 303 confirmed COVID-19 cases locally through Saturday. By comparison, black residents make up only 32.9% of Mecklenburg County’s population.
An inmate at SCI Phoenix, the same Philadelphia-area prison where Bill Cosby is serving time for sexual misconduct, has tested positive for the coronavirus. The inmate was not in contact with Cosby and has been moved to isolation. Cosby’s spokesperson says the 82-year-old, who is blind and relies heavily on other inmates and guards to escort him, is fearful of exposure to the virus.
Kevin Durant and other Brooklyn Nets players who tested positive for coronavirus are now symptom-free. The team’s general manager said the team will not be retesting the players, unless they are asked to do so by the government or the NBA.
Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation, which has already donated $5 million to coronavirus-relief, announced that an additional $1 million in grants will be matched by Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation. The funds, totaling a combined $2 million between the two foundations, will support undocumented workers, the children of frontline health workers and first responders, and incarcerated, elderly and homeless populations in New York City and Los Angeles.
Politics & Economy
Out of work due to the growing spread of coronavirus? Below is a list of companies currently hiring:
Albertsons Companies (Safeway, Randall’s, United Supermarkets)
Dollar Tree/Family Dollar
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo predicts the state coronavirus cases will peak at the end of April. Based on these projections, the governor says the state will need 110,000 hospital beds and 37,000 ventilators.
Northern New Jersey is making plans to secure ventilators and additional space to treat patients as officials are seeing the beginnings of a surge of coronavirus cases. New Jersey currently has almost 23,000 coronavirus cases and 355 deaths.
Doctors and local leaders in Tennessee are urging Governor Bill Lee to quickly issue a stay-at-home order or, they warn, the state “will become the next epicenter” of the coronavirus outbreak.