The U.S. surpassed Italy for the most fatalities worldwide Saturday, President Donald Trump is creating a second task force to focus on reopening the country, and a majority of Americans now believe the economy is getting worse.
Meanwhile, in an effort to keep the virus from spreading further, some states are taking extra measures to prevent large Easter celebrations on Sunday.
Coronavirus deaths in the U.S. neared 19,000 on Saturday after a record-high death count Friday of more than 2,100 fatalities. But the U.S. has not yet “reached the peak” of the pandemic, Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House coronavirus task force, said Friday.
Worldwide, there are 1.7 million cases and nearly 105,000 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Almost 400,000 people have recovered worldwide.
The United States surpassed Italy on Saturday to become the country with the most coronavirus deaths, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University dashboard.
The U.S. death toll early Saturday increased to 19,701 Saturday afternoon, while Italy had 19,468 and Spain had 16,353. While close to taking the lead in number of fatalities, virus deaths in relation to the total population remains at about one-sixth of those in hard-hit Italy or Spain.
Worldwide, the death count stood at more than 104,000 out of more than 1.7 million cases.
As people prepare to celebrate Easter on Sunday, states are cracking down on religious gatherings to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. But some lawmakers and religious leaders are challenging the social distancing measures.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said anyone who goes to a mass gathering may have their license plates recorded so local health departments can deliver orders of self-quarantine. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Rep. Thomas Massie slammed the announcement.
A federal judge in California denied a San Diego church’s request to hold an Easter service, even with social distancing measures including possibly requiring members to wear hazmat suits.
Meanwhile in Kansas, that battle has reached the Supreme Court after the Democratic governor’s ban on religious and funeral services of more than 10 attendees was overturned by a legislative panel.