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US coronavirus death toll rises above 50,000

More than 50,000 people in the US have died within less than four months of the onset of the coronavirus outbreak as a patchwork response to the pandemic struggled to combat the spread of the virus.

At least 50,031 people in the US have died from Covid-19, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

The US has had the world’s deadliest outbreak of the disease for nearly a month, after deaths in the US eclipsed the number of deaths in China, then the epicentre of the outbreak, in late March.
The latest figures follow reports from health officials this week that the virus was likely in the US much longer than previously reported.

California medical examiners determined that a man died from Covid-19 on 6 February, three weeks before the first recorded deaths from the virus in the US were reported on 29 February, after two people died at a hospital in Washington state.

Health officials say more post-morten discoveries are likely.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said this week that as many as 2.7 million people in the state were likely infected with the virus.

Reports emerged earlier this month that Donald Trump ignored repeated warnings from members of his administration alerting him to likely death tolls as he continued to push for a “reopening” of the economy.

The president has unveiled new guidelines for local governments to begin reopening, though Republican and Democratic state and local officials across the US have demanded critical testing support that the White House has claimed is not the federal government’s responsibility while also announcing a forthcoming surge in testing capacity.

More states began to loosen restrictions on Friday, as the US Food and Drug Administration issued a warning against using hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug that the president has touted to treat coronavirus.

The latest FDA warning said the drug could cause dangerous abnormalities in coronavirus patients’ heart rhythms.

That warning follows the president’s Thursday night press briefing, in which he dangerously suggested patients ingest disinfectant or be exposed to ultraviolet light to combat the virus.

The Independent

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