U.S. coronavirus cases near 400,000 as death toll exceeds 12,000

2020-04-08 05:51:59 GMT2020-04-08 13:51:59(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

NEW YORK, April 7 (Xinhua) -- The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States reached 398,809 as of 11 p.m. on Tuesday (0300 GMT on Wednesday), with 12,895 deaths, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday that evidence shows that African Americans have higher rates of COVID-19 infection in the United States.

"It's been disproportional," Trump told a White House press briefing, adding he is very concerned about the terrible numbers of infected African Americans.

Higher rates of pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity and asthma, within black and minority communities may contribute to the phenomenon, as well as their higher use of public transportation, said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

"We are very concerned about that. It is very sad. There is nothing we can do about it right now except to give them the best possible care to avoid complications," Fauci said.

Trump said the White House would release data on coronavirus cases by race in the near future.

Los Angeles County released a partial racial breakdown of coronavirus fatalities for the first time on Tuesday, showing African Americans are more likely to die from COVID-19.

"When we look at these numbers by the total population of each group, African Americans have a slightly higher rate of death than other races," said L.A. County Health Director Barbara Ferrer.

The state of New York just had its deadliest day yet since the pandemic took hold here, losing 731 lives to COVID-19 from Monday to Tuesday, said Governor Andrew Cuomo.

"Behind every one of those numbers is an individual, is a family, is a mother, is a father, is a sister, is a brother. So a lot of pain again today for many New Yorkers and they're in our thoughts and prayers," said Cuomo at his daily briefing on coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the numbers of daily incubations and ICU admissions declined for another day, and the state is reaching a plateau in the total number of hospitalizations, which are all "good news," said Cuomo.

The number of deaths "is a lagging indicator to the number of hospitalizations," explained Cuomo, emphasizing that the flattening of the curve is still just a projection.

"It still depends on what we do and what we do will affect those numbers," he noted.

The governor said he's thinking about restarting the economy with a smart approach, probably first with those who have resolved from the disease and developed immunity.

"That would mean that you're no longer contagious and you can't catch the virus because you have the antibodies in your system, which means you can get to work and go back to school, you can do whatever you want," said Cuomo.

He said the state developed an antibody testing regimen and will be working with the Food and Drug Administration to bring it to scale.

Meanwhile, testing for determining who have been infected remains significant for slowing down the spread. Cuomo announced the state will invest in private companies to bring rapid COVID-19 testing to scale and accelerate testing capacity.

As of Tuesday evening U.S. Eastern Time, New York state reported 139,876 COVID-19 cases with 5,489 fatalities, according to Johns Hopkins University.