The U.S. had its highest number of deaths in one day from the coronavirus, with Johns Hopkins' tally saying Wednesday (April 15th) that 2,405 died across the country on Tuesday after several days in which the number of deaths had fallen or was nearly flat. The total is now over 28,000 deaths and over 600,000 confirmed infections. However, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said on NBC'sToday show that it's plateauing, saying, "There's no doubt what we've seen over the last several days is a flattening out." According to the Johns Hopkins count, there have been more than 130,000 deaths worldwide and two million confirmed infections.
One-time government stimulus payments began to be deposited in Americans' bank accounts Wednesday, with qualifying adults getting up to $1,200 each and married couples up to $2,400, and $500 per child, as many Americans have lost their jobs or had their hours or pay cut because of the massive economic fallout from the pandemic. Other people will have paper checks mailed to them, depending on how they filed their tax returns.
Protesters in Michigan who want the state's stay-at-home order lifted mounted a protest in the capital, Lansing, organized by two conservative groups by gridlocking the streets for miles with their cars. Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended the lockdown order last week through April 30th, and added more restrictions. Michigan has the third-highest number of deaths in the country, and Whitmer defended her actions, saying on CNN, "We have to be really aggressive here in order to save lives." Some protesters got out of their cars and groups gathered on the grounds of the Capitol. Whitmer said, "We'll never know the precise number of Covid-19 cases that come as a result of this gathering, but we know there will be some."
In other developments:
New Yorkers Must Wear Masks:New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said yesterday that he will require everyone in the state to wear a mask in public when not social distancing. He also announced 752 people had died in the state Tuesday, down slightly from the day before, and hospitalizations, ICU admissions and intubations were all down, further evidence of a plateau in the state that's the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak.
Industrial Output, Retail Sales Historically Down:With many factories shut down, U.S. industrial output had its biggest decline in March since the nation demobilized at the end of World War Two. Additionally, retail sales fell by an unprecedented 8.7 percent, with worse expected for April.
Study: Hydroxychloroquine Doesn't Work:A new French study has found that hydroxychloroquine, a drug that's been touted by President Trump as a possible treatment for the coronavirus, didn't help hospitalized patients and was associated with heart complications.