As hot spots flared around the United States in places like New Orleans, Detroit and Southern California, New York was the hardest hit of them all, with bodies loaded onto refrigerated morgue trucks by gurney and forklift outside overwhelmed hospitals. And the worst is yet to come, with Vice President Mike Pence comparing the U.S. trajectory to that of Italy.
Experts warned that there could be 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. even if social distancing guidelines are maintained. America now has more than 4,000 dead from the outbreak.
In other developments today:
- U.S. stocks and markets around the world fell sharply Wednesday as the economic and physical toll caused by the coronavirus outbreak mounts — and as experts say they still can’t predict when it will end. Some employers, though, say that they're trying to maintain ties to the staffers they're letting go so they can more quickly rehire them once the outbreak has passed.
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a statewide stay-at-home order Wednesday as local pressure mounted for him to abandon the county-by-county approach he had implemented. Florida, which has recorded 86 deaths, followed more than 30 other U.S. states that had already issued such orders, including other large states such as California, New York and Illinois.
- Scientists offered more evidence Wednesday that the coronavirus is spread by seemingly healthy people who show no clear symptoms, and the federal government issued new guidance warning that anyone exposed to the disease can be considered a carrier.
- A study by researchers in Singapore became the latest to estimate that somewhere around 10% of new infections may be sparked by people who carry the virus but have not yet suffered its flu-like symptoms.
- Countries around the world continue to test potential treatments. The Russian government said Wednesday that tests of a new coronavirus vaccine will begin in June. Algeria plans to administer the anti-malaria medication chloroquine to treat citizens with confirmed cases of COVID-19 as well as those who appear to be infected. Many doctors say more tests need to be done before chloroquine is used as a treatment.
- Wimbledon was canceled on Wednesday because of the coronavirus pandemic, the first time since World War II that the oldest Grand Slam tennis tournament won’t be played.
- Facing intense surges in the need for hospital ICU beds, European nations are on a building and hiring spree, throwing together makeshift hospitals and shipping coronavirus patients out of overwhelmed cities. The key question is whether they will be able to find enough healthy medical staff to make it all work.
For more summaries and full reports, please select from the articles below. Scroll further for helpful tips, charts tracking virus spread and more.
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