White House names next likely COVID-19 hot spots

April 10, 2020

According to the White House task force, Washington, DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia will likely be the next novel coronavirus hot spots. During a recent news briefing, Vice President Mike Pence said Philadelphia was of particular concern. Pence said he spoke to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf about concerning trend lines in both Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. In total, Pennsylvania has confirmed over 18,000 cases of COVID-19.

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has been vocal about warning that the D.C. and Baltimore metro area is about two weeks behind New York and will likely be the next major outbreak region in the country.

However, the main U.S. hot spot is still New York, which for the third time this week recorded its deadliest day, with 800 fatalities. Governor Andrew Cuomo, in his daily briefing from Albany, said this week has been the darkest in New York’s history – even darker than the days following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

"We now have 7,067 deaths in New York due to the virus, compared to 2,753 on 9/11," Cuomo said.

So far, the state has not run out of either intensive care unit hospital beds or ventilators. Cuomo did say, however, he needed to bring in more funeral directors to help manage the influx of corpses across the state. Despite the high death toll, Cuomo said there are continued signs the pace of hospitalizations is slowing in the state, and he cautioned New Yorkers to continue social distancing. The state now has over 160,000 confirmed cases, and following New York, New Jersey has the second-highest case count, with more than 51,000 cases and 1,700 deaths.

Michigan has the third-most cases with over 21,000 and 1,100 deaths. The Detroit Free Press recently reported that the state is seeing some signs of hope and noted cases are now doubling every week instead of every two or three days.

In total, the United States has reported almost 470,000 cases of COVID-19 and nearly 17,000 deaths from the virus.

Recently, Anthony Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and said models used by the White House now project 60,000 American deaths from the virus, down from the 100,000 to 200,000 previously predicted.

According to the latest modeling provided by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the model most citied by the White House coronavirus task force in recent weeks, the United States will likely see its peak number of cases on Easter, April 12.

In other news, the New York Times reported new research on the genetics of coronavirus cases in New York that shows the virus was likely spreading in that state since mid-February, and most early cases were linked to the European, not Asian, outbreaks of the virus. The research, which is not yet peer reviewed, analyzed the genome of some of New York City’s first confirmed cases and showed they were identical to viruses circulating in Italy and Spain.

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