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Monday Updates: COVID-19 Cases “Accelerating”, DeSantis Avoids Statewide Lockdown, and Presidential Press Briefing

EN Photo by Julia Bonavita

FGCU’s local Super Target and Publix remain bare less than two weeks after the campus announced classes will move online in response to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak.
According to the most recent report from Johns Hopkins University, worldwide confirmed cases of the pandemic have risen to 375,458, with 16,371 deaths. 
The United States passed a grim milestone on Monday night after the single-day death toll rose to 100, marking the first time fatalities reached into the hundreds. More than 42,600 people have been infected with COVID-19 in the United States, with 541 deaths countrywide.  
The World Health Organization announced earlier today that the virus is “accelerating,” citing statistics that it had taken 67 days for the first reported case to reach 100,000 cases globally, 11 days for the second 100,000 cases, and four for the third 100,000 cases. 
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is facing national backlash for refusing to implement a statewide shelter-in-place order, citing fears regarding the local economy. Florida ranks seventh in the nation for positive COVID-19 cases, with 1,200 confirmed infections and 14 deaths. 13 states, including California and New York, have implemented mandatory lockdowns. 
In a Monday evening briefing, President Donald Trump told reporters that he hopes to reopen the economy at the end of the 15-day quarantine, despite concerns from the country’s top infectious disease experts.
The president has been reluctant to implement the Defense Production Act, a Korean War-era law that allows presidents to require American companies to produce equipment needed for national security to help with the current demand for supplies. 
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been appearing on national television to plead for help from the federal government. 
“In our public hospitals, our 11 public hospitals right now, this week, I can only guarantee you right now, John, that we can get through this week with the equipment and supplies we have. That’s the blunt reality,” de Blasio told CNN’s John Berman in an interview on Monday night. 
Officials are encouraging citizens to practice social distancing by staying at least six feet away from others and to self quarantine when possible. 
Medical workers throughout the United States are also faced with a national supply shortage, with many hospitals reporting a low supply of N95 ventilators and surgical masks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has approved the usage of homemade masks as a “last resort” and is encouraging doctors and nurses to reuse supplies when possible. 
Currently, there is no known vaccine for coronavirus. Scientists in Massachusetts have moved forward with clinical trials, hoping to have a product released within 12 to 18 months.

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