United States announces deadliest day for coronavirus

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A sad and tired healthcare worker is seen by the Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York, the United States, April 1, 2020.

Tayfun Coskun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

The United States has just had its deadliest day due to the coronavirus as states in the country begin to relax restrictions to curb the spread of the virus, according to data released by the World Health Organization.

The United States saw 2,909 people who died of Covid-19 in 24 hours, according to the data, which was collected Friday at 4:00 a.m. (ET). This is the highest number of daily Covid-19 deaths in the United States, based on a CNBC analysis of WHO daily status reports on Covid-19.

Prior to May 1, the highest daily death toll in the United States was 2,471 on April 23, according to the WHO. State officials have previously warned that data on the deaths of Covid-19 are difficult to analyze because they often represent patients who fell ill and were hospitalized weeks ago.

WHO officials did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

The country’s deadliest day comes as government officials suspect the reopening of parts of the economy and the easing of home stay orders. Public health officials and epidemiologists have warned that as the public is tired of restrictions and the reopening of businesses, the virus could spread quickly in communities that have not yet experienced a major epidemic.

Protesters in at least 10 states on Friday demanded that the government lift home orders and other emergency measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus. California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Tennessee and Washington are among the states that have seen protests.

Dozens of states have released plans to reopen, and several, including Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas, have already started allowing non-essential retailers to reopen.

New York State, which has reported more than 27% of all confirmed cases in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, has so far suffered the worst of the American epidemic. The state has reported at least 24,039 of the 65,173 deaths from Covid-19 in the country, according to Hopkins.

The toll of the deadliest day of Covid-19 in the United States rivals that of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which claimed the lives of 2,973 people in one day, according to a government commission.

Incomplete data

WHO data differs from data collected by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which does not report the historic daily deaths of Covid-19. The CDC website says that 2,349 people died in the United States from Covid-19 on May 1.

However, the agency warns that its data may not be complete. CDC spokeswoman Kate Grusich told CNBC that the agency’s data was “validated by a confirmation process with the courts”.

“The CDC does not know the exact number of COVID-19 diseases, hospitalizations and deaths for various reasons,” the agency said, adding that asymptomatic patients, late reporting and limited testing make follow-up difficult. accurate data.

Some cities, such as New York City, have struggled to gain a full understanding of the Covid-19 death toll. Many patients die at home and others are attributed to heart attacks or other conditions that may have been exacerbated by Covid-19, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said last month.

To further complicate Covid-19’s death reporting system, the mortuary system in hard-hit cities like New York is overwhelmed by the influx of victims. Funeral homes, caught in the middle of the bottleneck, have had to store corpses in refrigerated trucks, or in some cases, whatever storage unit they can find.

The CDC warns that all data is currently “provisional” and the agency may not have a more precise count until December of next year.

Potential treatment

The United States Food and Drug Administration has granted emergency use authorization for Gilead Sciences remdesivir to treat Covid-19, President Donald Trump announced on Friday.

The EUA means that remdesivir has not undergone the same level of review as an FDA approved treatment, according to an agency drug information sheet. However, doctors will be allowed to use the drug on patients hospitalized for the disease even if the drug has not been officially approved by the agency.

The new intravenous drug has shortened the recovery time of some Covid-19 hospital patients, suggest new clinical trial data. Without other proven treatments, healthcare workers will likely consider using it.

The FDA previously authorized the emergency use of malaria drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19. However, he later issued a warning against taking the medication outside of a hospital or formal clinical setting after learning of “serious heart rhythm problems” in patients.

Under the EUA, the FDA will allow the drug to be administered in a five-day or 10-day dose. A 10-day regimen is preferred for intubated patients.

“This will allow Gilead to effectively double the supply,” said former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb in an interview on CNBC’s “Closing Bell”.

The company said it would continue to support clinical trials and expand so-called compassionate use programs for remdesivir.

– CNBC’s Berkeley Lovelace, Yelena Dzhanova and Hannah Miller contributed to this report.

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