The United States is reporting more coronavirus deaths than any country
The United States is reporting more coronavirus deaths than any country in the world after the death toll on Saturday morning climbed to at least 18,860, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.
The US death toll narrowly surpassed that of Italy, which is reporting 18,849 deaths, per Johns Hopkins.
Of the deaths reported Friday, 783 occurred in New York state, bringing the statewide death toll to 8,627, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Saturday. That was a slight drop from the state's all-time high in single-day fatalities, which occurred Wednesday with 799 deaths.
But Cuomo also shared what he called good news, saying the state's curve "is continuing to flatten."
"The number of hospitalizations appears to have hit an apex, and the apex appears to be a plateau," the governor said, where numbers will level out for a period before dropping.
The hospitalization rate is also down, Cuomo said, as are the number of intensive-care admissions.
"Still people getting infected," he said, "still people going into the hospital, but again, a lower rate of increase."
The US likely saw a peak in its daily death toll, according to Dr. Chris Murray, the director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington -- who created the model the White House is using to gauge the peak of coronavirus cases.
"We re-run the model, basically, almost every night -- and the new returns from different states are suggesting different peaks in different states, but at the national level we seem to be pretty much close to the peak," he said.That model projects about 61,500 Americans will lose their lives to the virus by August -- and that's if the country keeps social distance measures in place until the end of May. If they factor in states that may lift these rules by May 1, the numbers "don't look good,' Murray said.
Health experts say that while they're encouraged by signs those measures are having a positive impact, they warn re-opening the country too quickly could set the US back.
Despite the positive signs, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus coordinator, said Friday the US had not yet reached its peak in cases.
"So every day we need to continue to do what we did yesterday, and the week before, and the week before that, because that's what in the end is going to take us up across the peak and down the other side," she said.