Americans urged to wear masks outside as coronavirus pandemic worsens

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK: On Thursday, the Trump administration seemed teamed up with local officials to advise Americans to wear masks when they venture out during the pandemic that continues to explode, as the death toll in the United States increased by 1,000 in a single day for the first time.

Speaking at a briefing at the White House, Deborah Birx, Member of the President Donald trump The coronavirus task force said the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will add a mask recommendation to the guidelines on protective measures in the coming days.

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But Birx said Americans, almost all of whom have been told to stay home, except for essential exits, should not develop a false sense of security that they are fully protected from respiratory disease by covering their faces. Trump, responding to questions from journalists at the briefing, said that only if people want to use them can they do so.

As of Thursday night, the death toll in the United States from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, stood at 5,887, with more than 243,000 cases in all 50 states.

Global cases topped a million on Thursday with more than 52,000 deaths, according to a Reuters count based on country-by-country data.

White House medical experts have predicted that 100,000 to 240,000 Americans could be killed, even if block orders are followed.

The Trump administration, CDC, and public health officials have been skeptical about the issue of facial masks since the pandemic erupted, initially telling healthy people that such measures were unnecessary or even counterproductive.


Mayors and Los Angeles urged residents to cover their faces. Mayor of new york Bill de Blasio The studies cited show that the virus can be transmitted by infected people who show no symptoms.

What that means is that when you put that covering face on you are protecting everyone else, de Blasio said.

The Democratic mayor suggested that New Yorkers wear scarves or other homemade masks because medical-grade protective equipment was scarce.

An emergency stock of medical equipment maintained by the United States government has nearly run out of protective clothing for doctors and nurses.

In New York City, where at least 1,400 people were killed by the virus, hospitals and morgues struggled to treat the desperately ill and bury the dead.

Funeral homes and cemetery directors described an increase in demand that had not been seen in decades, as cases surpassed 50,000 in the city.

The crematoriums extended their hours and burned bodies at night, with corpses piling up so quickly that city officials were searching for temporary burial sites in other parts of the state.

We have been preparing for the worst case scenario, which is beginning to materialize in many ways, said Mike Lanotte, director of the New York State Association of Funeral Directors.

At Brooklyn Wyckoff Heights Medical Center, staff were seen discarding gowns, caps, and other protective equipment in a trash can on the sidewalk Thursday after loading the bodies into a refrigerated truck.

Reuters was unable to confirm whether the bodies were of victims of coronavirus and hospital administrators could not be reached for comment. Operator Beatrice Pereira said: They said that no one is available right now, that everyone here is busy saving lives.


The U.S. Navy relieved aircraft carrier commander Theodore Roosevelt after he wrote a scathing letter asking for help controlling an outbreak of coronavirus on board, U.S. officials told Reuters on Thursday.

When asked about the captain during a White House press conference, Trump said he disagreed with the suggestion that it appeared the commander was being removed for trying to save the sailors' lives.

I do not agree with that at all. Not at all. Not even a little bit, Trump said.

With an estimated 90% of Americans under unprecedented orders to stay home, the United States government reported that a record 6.6 million workers had applied for unemployment benefits last week, double the previous record high One week before.

The Walt Disney Company said it would begin non-essential American employee licensing across the company on April 19. He did not say how many would be affected.

In Florida, two Holland America cruises with dozens of coronavirus patients on board docked at a port near Fort Lauderdale, resolving a multi-day impasse.