(Eagle News) — The United States now has the most coronavirus infections in the world with a record 85,991 cases, overtaking China’s more than 81,000 cases, according to the latest data from the John Hopkins University.
The total deaths in the US also increased and hit almost 1,300.
US cases took a grim turn as unemployment statistics shot up with more than 3.3 million Americans applying for unemployment.
This was by far the highest since the previous high of 695,000 in October 1982, according to the US labor department.
“We are waging war on this virus using every financial, scientific, medical, pharmaceutical and military resource, to halt its spread and protect our citizens,” US President Donald Trump said.
With about 40 percent of Americans under lockdown, Trump urged citizens to do their part by practicing social distancing: “Stay home. Just relax, stay home.”
There are now more than 530,000 coronavirus infections worldwide, including those who recovered from the disease at almost 123,000.
In New York, where tens of thousands are ill, Governor Andrew Cuomo warned there were simply not enough hospital beds.
Job losses have swept across sectors from food services to retail to transportation, as nearly half of the country has closed to non-essential businesses.
“It is staggering. We are only seeing the initial numbers; they will get worse, unfortunately,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters, estimating that half a million people in the city would lose work.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards on Thursday also signed a proclamation outlining additional measures for COVID-19 response in the state, including provisions related to first responders, law enforcement and granting emergency authority to the insurance commissioner, among other things.
The Governor issued a declaration of a Public Health Emergency in Louisiana due to the coronavirus. Since this time, 2,305 cases have been confirmed in Louisiana and 83 people have died.
But stock markets continued to climb Friday, with Asian bourses in the green after a third straight day of rises on Wall Street.
Traders have taken heart from the passage through the Senate of a $2 trillion stimulus bill — the largest in US history, which will support American businesses and provide cash payouts averaging $3,400 for a family of four.
The bill goes before the House of Representatives on Friday.
(with a report from Agence France-Presse)