THE death toll in New York State has reached 10,056, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Monday.
It followed a one-day increase of 671, a decline off previous peaks and a sign that containment efforts were effective.
“I think you can say the worst is over,” Cuomo said, referring to the death toll. “We have control of the spread.”
Cuomo said the curve appears to have flattened, along with the slowing death rate. The infection numbers are now on a plateau in the state hardest hit by the pandemic.
Across the U.S., more than 22,000 people have died from complications related to the new coronavirus, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.
The governor stressed the control over the spread was contingent on continued social distancing but the state could now begin to plot a path back to normalcy.
He, however, cautioned that this would take time and only come in stages.
Cuomo said he was working with the governors of neighbouring states to coordinate a plan for reopening businesses and schools, in order to best ensure containment.
He described reopening as a “delicate balance,” that will require intensive testing and monitoring to ensure there is not a resurgent outbreak.
But, an American top health official said the U.S. “could have saved lives” if it had introduced measures to stop Covid-19 earlier.
“If we had, right from the beginning, shut everything down, it may have been a little bit different,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN, but added that making that decision had been complicated.
The U.S. has recorded over 555,000 virus cases and 22,000 deaths so far.
President Donald Trump later signalled his disproval with the interview by sharing a tweet about firing Fauci.
Fauci has become the public face of the U.S. fight against the outbreak, appearing alongside Trump at the White House’s daily updates.
But the two have openly differed on several issues with Fauci pointing out in a recent CBS interview that he takes a scientific approach while Trump comes from a “hope, layperson standpoint”.
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Trump retweeted a post on Sunday from former Republican congressional hopeful Deanna Lorraine.
“Fauci was telling people on February 29th that there was nothing to worry about and it posed no threat to the U.S. public at large,” it said. “Time to #FireFauci…”
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The Trump administration has issued social distancing guidance that lasts until 30 April, but there are questions over when restrictions should be lifted.
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