The number of U.S. coronavirus cases edged slightly lower for the third consecutive day as President Donald Trump prepared to announce a new task force Tuesday that will develop plans for reopening the country and awakening its economy.
Monday’s U.S. death toll was 1,509, down 48 from the previous day. The toll peaked Friday at more than 2,000, according to Johns Hopkins University data. Recent declines in hospitalizations and other COVID-19 issues have prompted governors in six Northeast states and three Western states to form their own groups to begin talks toward rolling back stay-at-home orders.
Trump, however, claims he has “total” authority on such matters and promised to name a task force to advise him that will include “very great doctors,” business people and potentially Congress members and state governors.
“The president of the United States calls the shots,” Trump said. “That authority is total.”
Not so, says New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, who urged the president to put politics aside.
“We don’t have King Trump, we have President Trump,” Cuomo said Tuesday in a CNN interview. “I know it’s red versus blue. Not anymore. It’s red, white and blue. I have 10,000 deaths in my state. This virus did not kill Democrats or Republicans, it killed Americans.”
The pandemic has claimed almost 24,000 lives across the nation, with almost 600,000 confirmed cases. Worldwide, the death toll was over 120,000, with 1.92 million cases. Almost half a million have recovered worldwide according to the data, although not all health departments provide numbers of patients who have recovered.