Governors in California and Pennsylvania took the boldest action yet to slow the spread of coronavirus, and the U.S. hit two grim landmarks — more than 200 deaths and over 10,000 confirmed cases — as the pandemic continued Thursday to dramatically alter lives.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom laid out a sobering, staggering prediction that more than half the 40-plus million California population would contract COVID-19 in the next eight weeks, and asked President Donald Trump and Congress for federal help. Later Thursday, Newsom issued a statewide order encouraging residents to stay at home.
“There’s a social contract here, people I think recognize the need to do more to meet this situation,” Newsom said.
His actions were similar to those of Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, who ordered all “non-life-sustaining” businesses to shut down, or risk enforcement from state police.
“I had hoped for voluntary compliance, so our public safety officials could focus on assisting with the crisis,” Wolf said in a video statement. “Unfortunately, we have not seen full compliance. We have no time to lose.”
Also Thursday, Italy’s death toll surpassed China’s, U.S. health officials warned that the virus can also be deadly for young people and the U.S. State Department advised Americans not to travel outside the country. Hundreds of Americans are already stranded overseas. Meanwhile, the FDA continues to search for a vaccine, but admitted they are months away.
There were 205 reported U.S. deaths across 25 states and more than 14,200 confirmed cases early Friday, according to the Johns Hopkins University data dashboard. Worldwide, the death toll has topped 10,000, with more than 244,500 confirmed cases.