The number of coronavirus deaths in the United States has exceeded 7,000. States say they still lack what they need to fight the virus

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As cases increase, tests have become essential to track the number of Americans infected, but states like Illinois say they still don’t have enough.

“Everything about testing is very difficult to find, and there is no federal plan for it, so each state is alone – like I said, it’s the Wild West here,” said said Illinois Governor JB Pritzker.

At least 277,953 Americans have been infected with coronavirus cases in the United States by Johns Hopkins University.

Governor Roy Cooper in North Carolina said Friday that the government should step up efforts to get more personal protective equipment for health workers, saying the state had received some, but not all PPE. that they had asked for.

“We are grateful for these supplies. But to be clear, we only got 33% of what we asked for and they told us not to wait any longer, “he said.

“This pandemic is a war. And we need the armor to fight it, “said Cooper.

President Donald Trump said earlier this week The US national strategic stock is almost exhausted.

“Governments at all levels, hospitals, law enforcement and others compete for a limited amount of personal protective equipment,” said Cooper.

In Kentucky, Governor Andy Beshear said the state has stepped up efforts to increase the capacity of hospital beds and purchase personal protective equipment.

“We are trying to buy (PPE). It’s really difficult. The federal government buys most of everything. “

Beshear called on residents to donate all the equipment they have, saying the state is in dire need of gloves.

“We think this is the next area where there will be another big race in the United States,” said the governor in a statement.

Government announced new guidelines on washcloths

In its latest efforts to prevent a further spread of the virus, the White House announced on Friday that the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends people wear cloth face covers while in public.

“This is really going to be a voluntary thing,” said Trump. “I don’t choose to do it. “

The president’s announcement came days after a group of experts advised the White House on new research suggesting that the coronavirus could be spread by talking and perhaps even breathing.

But CDC public health experts said they felt “pressed” by the White House to draft recommendations and were “under intense pressure” to quickly draft new face covering guidelines, said one senior federal health official involved in the discussions.

“The CDC would not have taken this direction without the White House,” the official told CNN. “We would have tried to better understand asymptomatic transmission. We would have done more studies if we had had more time. “

Here’s what happened this week:

  • Today, all but eight states in the United States have issued residence orders. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s foremost health expert, said he did not understand why all states had yet to issue a prescription. But Trump once said he will not issue a national ordinance, saying Friday that he will continue to leave the decision to the governors.
  • The president also said that the next two weeks would be “very, very difficult” for the United States. White House experts cited a model this week which showed that more than 2,000 Americans could die every day in mid-April.
  • Earlier this week, White House experts predicted that at least 100,000 Americans could die from the virus – and that’s if residents strictly adhere to federal guidelines for social distancing, which have been extended by month. Without these measures, deaths could reach 2.2 million, said Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force. New evidence also suggests that about a quarter of American coronavirus carriers have no symptoms, according to the CDC.
  • In some regions, officials say social distancing measures have started to bear fruit. Health officials in King’s County, Washington State – the country’s first epicenter – said they were starting to have a “positive impact” as fewer people came into contact with them. other.

New York nurse: patients seem sicker than last week

Kelley Bradshaw, a nurse in the New York Hospital intensive care unit, says the patients they are treating this week seem sicker than they were last week. She says it’s not just the lungs. They also see patients whose hearts and kidneys are also affected.

“The pathophysiology of this thing is that it starts with the lungs, and then a patient can start to have respiratory failure, which means that he needs oxygen supplementation and that it might not be enough, he has so need different modalities, that is, he needs a breathing tube and after that, then sometimes different organ systems start to be affected like the kidneys, “she said. .

“There is just a lot of unpredictability with these patients and it feels like the more someone fights this virus and the more seriously they get sick, the more difficult our work becomes,” she said.

She told CNN that they have expanded their intensive care unit to care for more patients, and although they still have all the protective equipment they need, they are careful not to exhaust it. in case they still have a lot of coronavirus patients in three weeks.

“They have to keep it very – it’s very regulated, which means we can’t just blow it out, because we don’t know what’s going to follow,” she said.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will sign an executive order that will allow the state to take ventilators and medical supplies from institutions that don’t use them to relieve medical facilities in the southern part of the state.

Cuomo is asking hospitals in the northern part of the state to lend up to 20% of their unused ventilators.

“In addition, when the pandemic wave hits New York State, the governor will ask hospitals in the southern part of the state for similar assistance,” said Rich Azzopardi, the governor’s senior advisor, in a statement. “We are neither in the north nor in the north, we are one state and we act that way. “

CNN’s Chris Boyette, Athena Jones contributed to this report.

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