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.
Download the NBC News app for latest updates on the coronavirus outbreak.
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Pelosi hopes to vote on next recovery package this month
In a letter to her colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives, Speaker Nancy Pelosi outlined plans for the next coronavirus recovery package, calling it CARES 2.
“It is my hope that we will craft this legislation and bring it to the Floor later this month,” she said in the letter Saturday night.
CARES 2 would be a follow-up to the more than $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act signed by President Donald Trump on March 27, Pelosi said, and would "extend and expand this bipartisan legislation to meet the needs of the American people."
The cost of the proposed package has not been determined, but Pelosi said it was needed to aid small business owners, farmers, the unemployed, state and local governments, hospitals, and others "on the frontlines of this crisis."
San Francisco park's 150th birthday celebration goes online
SAN FRANCISCO — Golden Gate Park turned 150 years old on Saturday, but the huge party planned to celebrate San Francisco's beloved treasure had to be postponed.
Originally, city officials planned a yearlong celebration that included free museum admission, concerts and the participation of more than 150 cultural institutions and community groups. A giant Ferris wheel that lifts passengers 150 feet into the sky was brought in for the occasion. But the spread of the coronavirus forced them to hold off for now.
Instead, they launched an online concert series featuring musical sets performed in the park over the years. They include an appearance by Boz Scaggs at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in 2016 and Metallica's headlining performance at the Outside Lands festival in 2017.
“Golden Gate Park has served as a place of inspiration, hope and refuge for San Franciscans for 150 years,” Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “We hope these virtual experiences will bring some joy and entertainment during this challenging times.”
Earthquake scientists say isolation has calmed the planet
With an estimated one-third of the world's population participating in some form of isolation, trains, trucks and humans aren't pounding the pavement as they would normally, and scientists who measure the earth's vibrations say the calm is palpable.
Since late March, the planet's "seismic noise" has been reduced because of stay-at-home measures, the Royal Observatory of Belgium noted.
"The earth continues shaking," it said on Twitter. "Ground movements at frequencies 1-20 Hz, mainly due to human activity (cars, trains, industries,...) are much lower since the implementation of the containment measures by the government."
2 passengers die aboard Coral Princess cruise ship docked in Miami
Two passengers died from COVID-19 aboard the Coral Princess cruise ship, which arrived in Miami Saturday from South America.
The ship was carrying 1,020 passengers and 878 crew members. At least 12 people tested positive for coronavirus.
"All of us at Princess Cruises are deeply saddened to report that two guests passed away on Coral Princess," the company said in a statement. "Our hearts go out to their family, friends, and all who are impacted by this loss. All of us at Princess Cruises offer our sincere condolences."
Passengers who are "fit to fly" will be allowed to disembark starting Sunday, the company said. Those guests will be transferred directly from the ship to the Miami International Airport for flights home.
Guests who require immediate medical attention will be prioritized, according to Princess cruises. Disembarkation of all guests could take several days.
United to cut flights to Newark, LaGuardia airports
United Airlines is scaling back flights to two New York City-area airports in an effort to reduce the number of employees who report there.
"The goal is to keep our employees safe and play our part in helping to mitigate the spread of the outbreak in the Tri-State area," United said in a statement, adding that all employees at Newark Liberty International Airport and LaGuardia Airport will receive their full salaries and benefits despite the schedule reductions.
United said it will continue to serve all of its domestic and international markets at this time.
NYC sees largest spike in deaths since outbreak started
New York City saw the largest spike in deaths Saturday since the coronavirus outbreak strengthened its grip on the city last month.
The city's death toll is now more than double what it was on Tuesday.
Photo: A funeral in Spain
Wisconsin GOP appeals to Supreme Court on extended voting
MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Republicans asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday to block extended absentee voting in Tuesday's primary, despite public health fears about in-person voting amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Republicans are asking the high court to undo a federal judge's ruling this week that declined to postpone the election but added six days, to April 13, for people to submit absentee ballots.
The GOP argued in their brief to Justice Brett Kavanaugh that the absentee extension is “a deeply consequential and disruptive change” that risks confusing voters, comes too close to the election and unfairly creates two different deadlines for voters — one for in-person voting and one for absentees.
Singer Marianne Faithfull hospitalized with COVID-19
Marianne Faithfull has been hospitalized in London with COVID-19, according to her manager manager Ravard Francois.
Faithfull has been shelter in place in London when she developed symptoms, Variety reported Saturday. She checked herself into a hospital and later tested positive for COVID-19.
1,000 military personnel to deploy to NYC
President Donald Trump on Saturday said 1,000 military personnel will deploy to New York City to help COVID-19 response efforts.
Trump's hometown has been reeling with the highest number of infections in the country. As of Saturday, NYC reported more than 63,000 cases. Across the state, more than 100,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus.
Health care workers say they are overwhelmed by supply and test shortages and the overwhelming number of people requiring medical attention. Many have complained that they don't feel safe and described chaos in emergency rooms all over the city.