Coronavirus Live Updates: Four Months After First Case, U.S. Death Toll Passes 100,000

Coronavirus Live Updates: Four Months After First Case, U.S. Death Toll Passes 100,000

The tally of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. has surpassed 100,000.

Just over four months after the government confirmed the first known case, more than 100,000 people who had the coronavirus have died in the United States, according to a New York Times tally.

The pandemic is on track to be the country’s deadliest public health disaster since the 1918 flu pandemic, in which about 675,000 Americans died.

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, released a video on Wednesday in which he expressed grief and charged that “this is a fateful milestone we should have never reached.” He faulted the administration for not enacting social-distancing measures sooner, which researchers said would have saved thousands of lives.

Earlier in the day, Mr. Trump had taken aim on Twitter at those who would question his response. “The Radical Left Lamestream Media, together with their partner, the Do Nothing Democrats, are trying to spread a new narrative that President Trump was slow in reacting to Covid 19,” he wrote, referring to himself in the third person. “Wrong, I was very fast, even doing the Ban on China long before anybody thought necessary!”

Though the numbers of new cases and deaths have begun trending downward, health experts warn of a possible resurgence as lockdowns are lifted.

More than 1.6 million people in the country have been infected. Hard-hit northeastern states have reported decreases in new cases in recent days, and the pace of deaths nationwide has fallen.

But persistently high numbers of cases remain in a number of cities, including Chicago and Los Angeles. Cases have been rising in Arkansas, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington said on Wednesday that religious organizations could host up to 100 people on their properties for outdoor services, including weddings, funerals and religious holiday celebrations. People must wear face coverings and social distance. Choirs are not allowed, although people can sing with face coverings, because the louder that voices are projected, the farther germs travel, he said.

Any counties that have entered the second phase of reopening can host indoor services of up to 25 percent of their capacity or 50 people, whatever is less. Seattle, in King County, is still in the first phase.

In many places, that has already begun. The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled that evictions could begin again. In the Oklahoma City area, sheriffs apologetically announced that they planned to start enforcing eviction notices this week. And a handful of states had few statewide protections in place to begin with, leaving residents particularly vulnerable as eviction cases stacked up.

“The CARES Act is a special, pandemic-related appropriation to benefit all American students, teachers and families,” Ms. DeVos wrote in a letter Friday, referring to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. “There is nothing in the act suggesting Congress intended to discriminate between children based on public or nonpublic school attendance, as you seem to do. The virus affects everyone.”

A range of education officials said the guidance would divert millions of dollars from disadvantaged students and force districts to support even the wealthiest private schools.

The association representing the nation’s school superintendents told districts to ignore the guidance, and at least two states, Indiana and Maine, said they would.

Private school leaders say they are also in crisis. Many of those schools serve low-income students whose parents have fled failing public schools. About 5.7 million students attend private schools, 30 percent of them from families with incomes below $75,000 a year. Private school groups say those families are most at risk without federal aid.

Under federal education law, school districts are required to use funding they receive for their poorest students to provide “equitable services,” such as tutoring and transportation for low-income students attending private schools in their districts. But Ms. DeVos’s guidance would award private schools more services than the law would normally require.

Democratic leaders called on Ms. DeVos to revise her guidance.

A study of Louisiana hospitals highlights the pandemic’s disproportionate burden on communities of color.

Yet another medical study, this one by doctors at a large hospital system based in New Orleans, has called attention to the disproportionate burden the pandemic is taking on communities of color.

Though the hospital system, Ochsner Health, serves a predominantly white population, most patients hospitalized with Covid-19 over a recent six-week period were black, according to research published on Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine.

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