The known coronavirus death toll in the United States has surpassed 50,000, though the true figure is unknown. Experts have called the soaring U.S. toll an “underestimation” because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counts only fatalities in which the virus is confirmed in a laboratory test and state health officials have divergent methods for counting covid-19 victims.
Here are some significant developments:
- President Trump claimed Friday that he was speaking sarcastically when suggested disinfectants might be used inside the human body. The federal government scrambled Friday to stave off a potential wave of public health emergencies sparked by President Trump’s dangerous suggestion.
- House Democrats plan to act swiftly with the next coronavirus relief package, but President Trump has been unclear about his priorities, creating an uncertain path forward. Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office delivered a grim forecast of the economic trauma that could last into next year.
- The Food and Drug Administration warned Friday that people should not take chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to treat covid-19 outside of a hospital or formal clinical trial, citing reports of “serious heart rhythm problems.”
- AutoNation, a Fortune 500 company that runs a network of auto sellers, received nearly $95 million in federal small-business funds, according to internal company documents and two company employees.
- Trump said he would not approve an emergency loan for the U.S. Postal Service if it did not immediately raise its prices for package delivery.
- Trump spoke Friday with the president of Ecuador and pledged to provide the Latin American country with ventilators, a day after health authorities there reported 11,000 new infections due to a delay in testing.
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