Topline: The U.S. recorded 233 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, the highest number of deaths on a single day, with the death toll climbing to 1,046, according to Johns Hopkins data—compared to around 326 deaths on Sunday.
- The spike in cases comes as the Senate unanimously passed a $2 trillion bill to provide economic relief for families, businesses, workers and the economy.
- There have now been more than 69,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. to date, which now has the third-largest number of confirmed cases after China and Italy.
- The U.S. has overtaken Italy in terms of reporting the most new cases, data from Johns Hopkins shows.
- Dr Anthony Fauci, a leading voice on the coronavirus task force, told CNN on Wednesday night that the pandemic was accelerating in the U.S. and called for more testing and a need to get a better idea of “what is going on” in other parts of the country.
Crucial comment: “The way we do that is by increasing testing and identifying people who are infected, isolating them, getting [them] out of circulation, and then do contact tracing,” Fauci said.
As it stands, New York and Washington states are hot spots of the outbreak in the U.S., but there are concerns that Louisiana, which has ordered residents to stay at home, could become the next hot spot.
Fauci told CNN: “I mean, I have spoken to the political officials in New Orleans and in the state of Louisiana. They are now shutting things down in a very vigorous way. It is likely that that should have been done a little bit sooner—not blaming anyone on that, but you get caught unaware because of the nature of this outbreak.”
What to watch for: The G20 group of the world’s most industrialized nations will meet for a virtual summit on Thursday, chaired by Saudi Arabia, to discuss a plan of action in tackling COVID-19.
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