President Donald Trump said at the daily White House coronavirus press briefing on Saturday, “This will be the toughest week” in the U.S. fight against the pandemic.
“There will be a lot of death, unfortunately," he said.
The president's comments came as the total number of coronavirus cases in the U.S. rose to over 300,000, with the number of deaths at more than 8,000, according to NBC News' tally.
Globally, the death toll is more than 59,100, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The CDC is recommending now that Americans wear cloth masks when out in public. And, New York, by far the hardest-hit state, is gearing up for the pandemic to peak there in an expected in four to 10 days. China is donating 1,000 ventilators to the state, and another 140 are coming from Oregon.
Support on Capitol Hill among both Republicans and Democrats for an independent 9/11-style commission to investigate the country’s response to the outbreak appears to be growing.
- Here's what to know about the coronavirus, plus a timeline of the most critical moments.
- MAPS: Where cases have been confirmed in the U.S. and worldwide.
- Stay-at-home orders across the country: What each state is doing — or not doing — amid widespread coronavirus lockdowns.
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Trump warns 'there will be a lot of death' in coming week
President Donald Trump warned Saturday that the country was headed for a difficult week.
“This will be the toughest week,” Trump said at the daily White House coronavirus press briefing. “There will be a lot of death, unfortunately.”
Trump claimed that his allocation of resources to states most in need would lead to a "lot less death than if this wasn't done."
“In some cases we are telling governors we can't go there because we don't think you need it and we think someplace else needs it. And pretty much so far we’ve been right about that and we’ll continue to do it," Trump said.
Nearly every state is stretched thin on emergency resources needed to fight the pandemic. Trump has been criticized for directing resources to states that are politically valuable to him, such as Florida, rather than prioritizing harder hit areas like New York, where ventilators are expected to run out within days and hospitals are already out of personal protective equipment.
Mayor of N.J. city hit hard by coronavirus says he can't compete with NYC for supplies
The mayor of a New Jersey city that has been hit hard by coronavirus says his community needs the same supplies and equipment as other hot spots but lacks "the power or resources to compete with New York City."
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka told MSNBC, "We should not be competing on the marketplace for testing, gowns and masks in this difficult, difficult time."
"I believe there needs to be a national response, a uniform national response, so everybody can get a tally of what they need of resources, and people need to be given those resources," said Baraka, whose city of about 280,000 has a median household income of about $35,000 and a 28 percent poverty rate.
Essex County, where Newark is located, has 3,584 positive coronavirus cases and 155 related deaths, according to the New Jersey Department of Health.
"We have a lot of people not being tested, folks depending on 911, calling 911, overwhelming 911 and the hospital," Baraka said. "We also treat the emergency rooms as a primary care physician, which has escalated these problems in these communities."
U.S. cases now top 300,000, deaths surpass 8,000
The total number of coronavirus cases in the United States has climbed to more than 300,000, with the number of deaths surpassing 8,000.
New York state has the highest number of cases in the country with 113,704. New Jersey is second, with over 34,000.
Both states also have the highest numbers of fatalities in the country. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Saturday that in the past 24 hours the state has seen an additional 200 deaths, bringing the total to 846.
More than 3,500 people have died from the virus in New York.
The U.S. in total has 300,092 cases and 8,078 fatalities.
Photo: A one-passenger flight
Over 150 crew test positive on USS Theodore Roosevelt, whose captain was removed
More than 150 crew members of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier whose captain was relieved of command after raising concerns about the coronavirus have tested positive.
The U.S. Navy said in a press release on Saturday that 44 percent of the crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt have been tested for the virus. The results came back positive for 155 crew members. The ship has a crew of nearly 5,000.
Over 1,500 sailors have been moved ashore.
"As testing continues, the ship will keep enough Sailors on board to sustain essential services and sanitize the ship in port," the Navy said. "There have been zero hospitalizations."
On Thursday, Capt. Brett Crozier was relieved of command after he raised concerns about a coronavirus outbreak on his ship in a letter that was leaked to the news media.
Six-year-old 'cystic fibrosis warrior' celebrates recovering from COVID-19
A 6-year-old Tennessee boy who lives with cystic fibrosis survived his battle against COVID-19 after being diagnosed with the disease last month.
“I’m a cystic fibrosis warrior and I beat COVID-19!” Joseph Bostain said in a viral video posted on his mother’s Facebook this week.
Joseph is one of more than 3,000 people in the state of Tennessee who have tested positive for coronavirus.
People with underlying medical conditions such as cystic fibrosis, which causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time, are more vulnerable to COVID-19.
Sabrina Bostain, Joseph's mother, documented her son's recovery in a series of Facebook posts as Joseph spent weeks quarantined at home after coming down with a fever and cough. He also spent time in a hospital.
In the video announcing his recovery, Joseph thanked everyone who prayed for him and sent him cards and gifts as he was battling the coronavirus.
Puerto Rico discovers protective supply cache amid COVID-19
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The suspected mismanagement of essential supplies during Hurricane Maria turned out to be a boon for Puerto Rico as it fights a rise in coronavirus cases.
Health Secretary Lorenzo González said Saturday that officials discovered a cache of urgently needed personal protective equipment at a hospital in the nearby island of Vieques that remains closed since the Category 4 storm hit the U.S. territory in September 2017.
He said the equipment includes face masks, gloves, gowns and face shields that were in good condition and would be distributed to health institutions.
Puerto Rico has reported 18 deaths related to COVID-19, including that of a nurse, and more than 450 confirmed cases, including several police officers who join health workers in demanding more personal protective equipment.
The discovery in Vieques outraged many on an island still struggling to recover from Maria and from a series of strong earthquakes that hit Puerto Rico’s southern region in recent months. González said he has ordered an investigation into why those supplies were abandoned in Vieques.
New Jersey has nearly 850 deaths, a hundred more than from the 9/11 attacks
New Jersey has lost nearly 100 more residents to the coronavirus pandemic than it did in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the governor said Saturday at a news conference.
Over the last 24 hours, 200 people in the state have died from the virus, bringing the total number of deaths to 846. In the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, New Jersey lost 750 of its residents.
"We have now lost nearly 100 more of our fellow New Jerseyans to COVID-19 than we did on the September 11th attacks," Gov. Phil Murphy said. "This pandemic is writing one of the greatest tragedies in our state's history and just as we have committed to never forgetting those lost on 9/11, we must commit to never forgetting those we are losing to this pandemic."
The governor then held a brief moment of silence.
New Jersey, the second worst-hit state in the pandemic, now has 34,124 confirmed cases of coronavirus.
Murphy also announced that he and State Police Col. Patrick Callahan are giving towns and counties the ability to ban rentals to seasonal tenants and transient guests flocking to the state to escape the pandemic.
"Social distancing does not work by relocating to the Shore," the governor tweeted.
Nearly 3,000 firefighters and EMTs out sick in NYC, but over 100 have returned to work
Nearly 3,000 of New York City's firefighters and Emergency Medical Services workers are still out sick.
But a senior fire department official told NBC News that well over 100 employees who were ill with coronavirus or related symptoms have returned to working on the front lines. That includes EMTs, firefighters and civilians, who are helping to replenish the ranks.
Among those on sick leave are nearly one in four of the city's EMS members.
As of Saturday, 426 members of the city's fire department have tested positive for coronavirus, a department official said.
Stranded Coral Princess cruise ship with coronavirus patients docks in Florida
The Coral Princess cruise ship, which has at least 12 people with coronavirus on board, arrived at Port Miami on Saturday morning after initially being blocked from docking after the U.S. Coast Guard determined the ship lacked a plan for disembarking.
The ship has 1,020 passengers and 878 crew members.
Negin Kamali, public relations director of Princess Cruises, said in a statement to NBC News that "disembarkation for guests who are fit to fly is anticipated to begin on Sunday, April 5. These guests will transfer direct from the ship to Miami International Airport for flights home."
Patricia Abril, press secretary for the Miami-Dade mayor, told NBC News in a statement that two patients in critical condition were taken to a hospital in Hialeah while at least nine others were expected to go to a hospital in Orlando.
Sixty Florida residents will be taken to their homes, and 336 other passengers will be transported home on domestic flights. The remaining passengers, who are British and Australian, will be put on charter flights to London and Los Angeles.
"Timing for all this is being managed by the cruise line," said Abril.