U.S. tops 100,000 coronavirus cases, testing kits, equipment still in short supply

  • By Vanessa Romo/NPR

The United States on Friday surpassed more than 100,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, doubling the number of known infections counted just three days ago.

Data from Johns Hopkins University, which has been tracking the global spread of the disease, shows 101,657 people have been diagnosed in the U.S. as of Friday evening. More than 1,560 people have died.

The troubling milestone comes a day after the U.S. infection toll rose above that of Italy and China, where the virus was first detected.

It also comes amid warnings from health officials that the pandemic will continue to accelerate in coming weeks.

During the Coronavirus Task Force briefing on Friday, Vice President Pence said more than 685,000 tests for the virus had been performed as of earlier in the day.

He also addressed the cry for more testing kits, ventilators and personal protective gear from health care workers and state leaders, saying there would be an airlift of supplies from around the world.

FEMA administrator Pete Gaynor will also be speaking to all state emergency administrators to advise them to have a plan to use the National Guard to move equipment from stockpiles to hospitals.

The highly contagious respiratory disease appears to be concentrated in a handful of so-called hot spots, with nearly half — more than 44,600 — in New York state. California has the second highest number of cases with 4,000 and Washington has more than 3,200.

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