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New York State has more coronavirus cases than any country on the planet.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that 159,937 New Yorkers had tested positive and 7,067 lost their lives to complications resulting from the virus. New Yorkers now make up one-third of the more than 452,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States.

The astonishing figure means the Empire State has roughly 7,500 more cases than Spain and 20,000 more than Italy, the latter of which only recently was the global coronavirus hot spot.

Cuomo softened the blow of the painful news slightly by noting state health department data shows hospitalization and ICU admittance rates have continued to drop. New COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped to the lowest number in the state since March 18.

New York Has More Coronavirus Cases Than Any Nation

Thursday also saw the release of another grim jobless report for the United States. One in 10 workers is now without a job, and the country is on track to see its highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression.

About 6.6 million people filed for jobless benefits last week, bringing the three-week total to 16.8 million. The numbers represent the largest and fastest string of job losses on records dating to 1948.

The number of jobless claims shows the staggering economic impact of the coronavirus — the outbreak is believed to have erased nearly one-third of the economy’s output in the current quarter. Forty-eight states have closed nonessential businesses. Restaurants, hotels, department stores and countless small businesses have laid off millions as they struggle to pay bills at a time when their revenue has vanished.

U.S. Coronavirus: Unemployment Claims Show 1 In 10 Have Lost Jobs

With so many Americans out of work, it may be hard for us to feel hopeful right now, but President Donald Trump said on Thursday he would like to possibly reopen the economy in the near future.

“Hopefully we’re going to be opening up the economy, very very, very, very soon,” Trump said in the most recent White House Coronavirus Task Force news briefing.

The president also added that the United States has now completed more than 2 million coronavirus tests, adding that the tests are “highly sophisticated and highly accurate.”

“We have, right now, the best testing system in the world,” Trump said Thursday.

Trump’s hopeful comments about the economy come as the number of coronavirus cases continues to grow in the United States, with more than 456,00 confirmed cases and over 16,200 deaths as of Thursday evening.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, acknowledged in Wednesday’s White House briefing that the coronavirus mitigation efforts are having a positive effect.

Still, his assessment came with a warning: “Don’t get complacent.”

In other good news on an international scale Thursday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was released from intensive care and is now in “stable condition.”

While Fauci’s message coincides with positive signs coming out of New York, some of the White House’s top health experts have identified other U.S. cities as hot spots for the virus in the coming days.

Dr. Deborah Birx, a leading figure in the White House’s response to the coronavirus, mentioned in an interview on “Good Morning America” that she was “concerned about” three areas.

“We are concerned about the metro area of Washington and Baltimore. We are concerned right now about the Philadelphia area,” Birx said.

Vice President Mike Pence said that Philadelphia residents need to practice social distancing efforts “now more than ever.”

Recap: White House Task Force Wednesday Coronavirus Briefing

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The lower number of hospitalizations in New York could be a good omen for states including Massachusetts, where health officials Wednesday rolled out a new point system that hospitals may use to help doctors and nurses determine whom they should save amid scarce medical resources.

The Crisis Standards of Care recommends hospitals prioritize treatment “to result in the best possible health outcomes for the population as a whole.” Essentially, the point system ranks patients based on who is most likely to benefit from intensive care, giving priority to health care workers, pregnant women and those most likely to survive a COVID-19 diagnosis.

Massachusetts on Thursday saw the state’s death total pass 500, with 70 deaths over the past 24 hours resulting from COVID-19 complications. Gov. Charlie Baker also announced that the state received another 100 ventilators from the federal stockpile, in addition to five ventilators from Boston Children’s Hospital.

Choosing Whom To Save: MA Issues Guidelines For Coronavirus Surge

MA Coronavirus: 70 More Deaths, 2,000+ New Cases

Among states hardest hit is Illinois. On Wednesday, health officials said 82 people had died, bringing the death toll there to more than 400. The state has recorded more than 15,000 cases of the coronavirus.

A disparity has emerged in Illinois’ numbers, showing that at least one segment of the population has been overwhelmingly impacted by the virus. Officials say the virus is hitting the state’s African American community especially hard. For instance, in Chicago, where African Americans make up less than 30 percent of the population, they account for more than 70 percent of coronavirus deaths.

However, this disparity isn’t exclusive to Chicago. Among the cities where black residents have been hard-hit: New York, Detroit, New Orleans and Milwaukee.

Of the victims whose demographic data was publicly shared by officials — nearly 3,300 of the nation’s 13,000 deaths thus far — about 42 percent were African American, according to an Associated Press analysis. African Americans account for roughly 21 percent of the total population in the areas covered by the analysis.

“No one and no community is immune from COVID-19,” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams tweeted Tuesday. “That said, in too many communities black people appear to be dying at an alarmingly high rate. We must work together to change that.”

Outcry Over Racial Data Grows As Virus Slams Black Americans: AP

Over 70 Percent Of Chicago Coronavirus Deaths Are African Americans

While most of the conversation about hospital shortages has revolved around a lack of ventilators and protective equipment for health care workers, yet another new obstacle has emerged in the fight against coronavirus.

Hospitals, particularly those in hard-hit areas such as New York, are running low on the drugs needed to sedate patients on ventilators to keep them alive.

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