New York, the epicenter of the the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., has now passed 10,000 deaths, nearly half of the country's death toll of more than 23,000. But Governor Andrew Cuomo pointed Monday (April 13th) to a reduction in the state's daily death toll, although still at what he called a "horrific level," with 671 deaths Sunday, down from 758 on Saturday and the upper 700s for several previous days. He also cited a reduction in net hospitalizations and the number of people on ventilators, saying it appears, quote, "the worst is over . . . if we continue to be smart going forward."
President Trump claimed yesterday on Twitter and at his daily coronavirus briefing that he has the authority to decide how and when to reopen the economy from tough social distancing guidelines. However, both Republican and Democratic governors pushed back, saying they have the primary constitutional authority to ensure public safety in their states, and will decide when it's safe to start trying to reopen. That came as Democratic governors in the Northeast and on the West Coast announced regional pacts to coordinate scaling back social distancing and reopening businesses. The agreements are among the governors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Rhode Island in the Northeast, and California, Oregon and Washington on the West Cost.
During yesterday's White House briefing,Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease specialist, clarified comments he'd made on CNN Sunday. Fauci said he was responding to what he called a "hypothetical question" when he said more could have been done to save American lives from the virus if action had been taken earlier. He said his response, quote, "was taken as a way that maybe somehow something was at fault here." After the Sunday interview, Trump had retweeted a post that referred to Fauci's comments and included the lines, "Time to #FireFauci." That led to concern Trump might remove Fauci, but Trump said Monday at the briefing, "I’m not firing him. I think he’s a wonderful guy."
In other developments:
U.S. Getting Tests from South Korea : The U.S. is getting 750,000 coronavirus tests from South Korea, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA said that the first shipment of 150,000 arrived over the weekend, and the next shipment of 600,000 will arrive by Wednesday.
Roosevelt Crewmember Dies : The Navy reported the first death from the coronavirus of a member of the USS Theodore Roosevelt's crew. The news came 11 days after the aircraft carrier's captain was fired for sending a letter that leaked to the media about his concerns over cases of the virus on the vessel. So far, 585 members of the Roosevelt's crew of 4,860 have tested positive for the coronavirus.