U.S. states on Monday reported more than 100 deaths from the novel coronavirus, pushing the country’s total death toll past 500 and marking the first time single-day fatalities have risen into the triple-digits since the pandemic reached U.S. soil.
The virus has now claimed lives in at least 34 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and has infected more than 41,000 people nationwide, according to tracking by The Washington Post.
Here are some significant developments:
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at a news conference that all nonessential shops will close, travel will be restricted, and police will enforce social distancing if necessary. The drastic new steps to slow the spread of coronavirus included advising all people should stay at home, only to venture out to buy groceries and medicine, and to exercise once a day. The measures bring Britain closer to the kind of full lockdowns enforced now in Spain and Italy. In a nighttime address to the nation, Johnson said people will only be allowed to leave their home for “very limited purposes.”
Back in the U.S., President Trump is weighing calls from some Republican lawmakers and White House advisers to scale back steps to contain the coronavirus despite the advice of federal health officials as a growing number of conservatives argue the impact on the economy has become too severe, according to several people with knowledge of the internal deliberations. Loosening restrictions on social distancing would override the internal warnings of senior U.S. health officials, including Anthony S. Fauci, who have said the worst of the pandemic has yet to be felt in the United States.
The nation’s governors are getting far better marks for their handling of the coronavirus outbreak than President Trump, according to a new Monmouth University poll. Fifty percent of Americans say Trump has done a good job handling the crisis, while 72 percent say governors have done a good job — results that are consistent regardless of party affiliation or severity of outbreak in a particular state. Just 38 percent said the American public is handling it well.
Michigan, Ohio, Louisiana and Oregon became the latest states to announce stay-at-home orders. The governors of Maryland and Massachusetts ordered nonessential businesses to close, and Virginia’s governor said schools would remain closed for the rest of the academic year. But President Trump signaled growing weariness with “social distancing” and other aggressive steps advocated by health officials. “We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem itself,” the president said in a tweet written in capital letters.
Virus-ravaged Italy marked 608 coronavirus deaths Monday, bringing its total to 5,476 — more than any other country. The daily figure remains very high, but it has not continued to rise. Spain extended its lockdown for another 15 days as the national death toll surged more than 25 percent. Spain now has more than 33,000 confirmed cases, and the prime minister warned that “the worst is yet to come.”