New peak in Covid-19 deaths was propelled by New York City, which recorded 806 fatalities on Tuesday
The US suffered its highest daily death toll from coronavirus on Tuesday, with 1,858 people succumbing to the disease, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.
The new peak in deaths was propelled by New York City, which remains the most stricken part of the country and which recorded 806 fatalities on Tuesday. The city has now recorded more than 4,000 deaths from the novel virus.
Recent statistics have heartened city authorities, suggesting that new cases and hospitalizations might be starting to plateau. But the rising death toll suggests that much suffering still lies ahead.
On Monday some 731 people were killed by Covid-19 across New York state, the previous highest daily jump.
The US remains on top of the world league table for confirmed cases compiled by Johns Hopkins, with almost 400,000. Since the first death by coronavirus was recorded in Seattle on 29 January, some 12,911 fatalities have been recorded the most in the world bar Italy and Spain.
The wave of deaths across the US is reflected in growing anxiety among Americans both about the mortal danger of Covid-19 and about the way that Donald Trump has been responding to the crisis. A new CNN poll found that a majority of those sampled, some 55%, thought the federal government had done a poor job in handling the health emergency and slowing the spread of the virus across the country.
That was a notable eight-point increase on the previous CNN poll a week ago.
A similar portion of 55% felt that Trump personally could be doing more to combat the disease. Anxiety levels are also on the increase, with 37% saying they are more worried now about coronavirus than they were a few days ago.
The disparity in New York between rising fatality rates and the slightly levelling-off trajectory of new cases and hospitalizations is potentially explained by the time-lag as patients develop symptoms, present at hospitals and then experience life-threatening complications. It presents New York authorities with a dilemma: they want to instill hope in New Yorkers that things might be getting better, but do not want to encourage any relaxation in behavior that might expose people to renewed danger.
New York citys mayor, Bill de Blasio, told CNN on Wednesday that there is a long battle ahead but we do see some progress. Though the number of hospitalizations was falling a little, he cautioned New Yorkers against assuming they could go outside and socialize again. Its not that time yet.
He added: Social distancing is working, but we have to be absolutely careful that [the virus] doesnt rebound on us. The mayor said that the city had enough ventilators to treat the most sick for another week, but that supplies were still an issue beyond that.
Even the grim death toll recorded by New York might be an understatement. A surge in the number of people dying at home is not being officially recorded as coronavirus deaths, De Blasio pointed out, suggesting an even higher true figure.
Coronavirus is driving these very tragic deaths, its so sad, we are not talking about 10 or 20 people a day we are talking about 100 or 200 people a day. Think of what this means for the families, think of the pain they are going through.
As the pain of coronavirus continues to be inflicted on states across the nation, Congress is gearing up for another round of funding to help stricken businesses. Democratic leaders indicated on Wednesday that they would support more emergency funding after the Trump administration requested another $250bn to support small businesses.
The House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, and the Democratic leader in the US Senate, Chuck Schumer, put out a joint statement in which they insisted the next emergency bill would have to include extra funding for hospitals and state and local governments as well foods assistance.