As governmental leaders begin to focus on the recovery stage of America’s fight against the coronavirus, new data provides optimism that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
The number of daily new confirmed cases of the coronavirus reported Monday — roughly 24,900 — was the lowest it’s been since March 30, when about 20,900 new confirmed cases were reported, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
Although the disease remains a potent force that can wreak havoc in the lives of Americans, the decline is significant because health experts have said that the number of new cases needs to start falling before there can be any talk of loosening social-distancing restrictions in place, such as business shutdowns and “stay-at-home” orders.
On Monday, 1,509 Americans were reported to have died from the virus, down 48 from Easter Sunday, USA Today reported. On Friday, 2,056 people were reported dead from the disease.
According to Johns Hopkins, almost 3 million Americans have been tested for the virus, with 582,594 Americans having tested positive as of Tuesday morning.
Globally, the virus has infected almost 2 million people, causing more than 120,000 deaths.
During Monday’s news briefing, White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said the impact of the virus varies greatly by region, noting that the New York City metro area, which includes parts of New Jersey, remains far and away the most troublesome national hotspot.
“If I take New York and New Jersey metro area out, this is the other metro areas that we have been tracking very closely. I wanted to show this to you so you could see how those curves are already starting to plateau,” she said, citing Detroit, Philadelphia and Louisiana.
“You can see across the board, across these metro areas, across metro areas which have a higher concentration of individuals, this is what the American people in these large cities have done, where it is more difficult often to socially distance. We’re just really impressed by the work of the mayors and the governors to make this happen.”
“I just wanted you to have that perspective of how significant the New York/New Jersey issue is and why we’ve been tracking that so closely, but I also wanted to assure all the other states that were tracking them also very closely and really working with the governors and mayors,” Birx added.
“That’s why I wanted you to see that not only are the curves flattening in some of those major metropolitan areas, but they’re starting to decrease. And this is what we’re very excited about. These are cases we also know that mortality will lag, so we’re really tracking also the number of individuals who have succumbed to the COVID-19,” she said.
Birx also threw in praise for the nation’s health care system.
“I also wanted to really note here that, yes, our mortality is less when you combine European countries equal to the size of the United States, and I think this is really two things,” she said.
“One, it’s the incredible work of the American people, but it’s also the incredible work of our health care providers and the system of each of these hospitals that have the resources and the ability to respond to the needs of the COVID-19 patients. And I think you can really see the superb health care delivery that is happening by the low mortality.”
During the briefing, Pence praised health care workers and all Americans.
“But I have to tell you, when you look at the fact, despite the heartbreaking loss of more than 22,000 Americans, when you look at the fact of what the health experts told us this could be, I think I only can feel a sense of gratitude to the American people, gratitude to the extraordinary team that has counseled this president, the steps that President Trump has taken, the policies that governors have implemented all across America,” he said.
Pence contrasted America’s experience with the virus to that of European nations.
“We were discussing today at the task force that when you look at the European Union as a whole, they have nearly three times the mortality rate that the United States of America has today, and that is a tribute to our extraordinary health care workers, their dedication, their tireless work,” he added.
“But it’s also a tribute to the fact that the American people put into practice the mitigation efforts that the president counseled the nation to do on the advice of our best scientists now more than a month ago. And our hospitals were not overwhelmed and are not overwhelmed at this hour.”
“And I have to tell you, standing here today, I couldn’t be more proud to stand alongside this president and to be a part of this team that has served the American people during this challenging hour,” Pence added. “And I’ll just say to you, to every American looking on, as we see the numbers leveling and maybe even beginning to go down, I just encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing. Because of the sacrifices that Americans and American families have made through these mitigation efforts, you’re saving lives and you’re seeing our nation through this time.”
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.