The coronavirus death toll in the US on Tuesday surged passed 3,500, surpassing China’s — as well as the number of people who died in the 9/11 terror attacks.
The Empire State remains the nation’s virus epicenter with 75,795 cases, 43,139 in New York City. Most of the state’s 1,500 deaths have been in the Big Apple — which is bracing for the outbreak to worsen in the coming weeks.
The crisis hit even closer to home for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo was infected.
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Here’s what else we learned today:
New York in crisis:
- The head of the state’s funeral directors association said the Big Apple could soon see dead bodies piling up, as morgues and cemeteries become overwhelmed. In Brooklyn, one hospital has been using a forklift to move corpses.
- As cases spike, Mayor Bill de Blasio said every bed in the city could be used to treat COVID-19 patients.
- In response, field hospitals have been set up, including one in Manhattan’s Javits Center. A Navy hospital ship with 1,000 beds arrived Monday. And there are plans for a medical facility at the Queens stadium that houses the U.S. Open.
- The virus could travel 27 feet, and stay in air for hours, according to an MIT researcher, who suggests social-distancing guidelines to stay 6 feet from others may be woefully inadequate.
Glimmers of hope:
- But social distancing still appears to be helping. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert on the White House task force, said mitigation efforts are “dampening” the spread of the outbreak.
- A 95-year-old World War II vet living in Oregon beat the bug. “I survived the foxholes of Guam, I can get through this [coronavirus] bullsh–t,” he said.
- Some coronavirus patients have been real jerks, spitting and hurling insults at medical workers.
- An upstate New York man hid his coronavirus symptoms so he could be in the birthing room with his wife — and she’s now showing signs of contagion.
- If only this worked! Turkmenistan has a special approach to wiping out the virus — completely banning the word.
- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says he won’t self-quarantine because his political enemies would take over the country if he did, according to news reports.
- New Jersey has enlisted “Jersey Shore” star Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, to urge people to stay home during the pandemic.
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