The United States now leads the world in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases.
According to a running count by the Johns Hopkins University, the number of people infected in the U.S. is 83,507 as of Thursday evening. There are 80,589 cases in Italy, and 67,801 in China. Globally, there are 529,093 cases.
Italy has the most confirmed deaths of any country with 8,215. To date, 1,201 people have died in the U.S., and there have been 23,956 deaths worldwide as a result of COVID-19.
When a reporter asked about the U.S. having the most cases worldwide, President Trump pointed to the testing being done in America, and suggested there were more cases in China than that country is reporting.
The President added that he plans to travel to Norfolk, Virginia, on Saturday to see off a 1,000-bed Navy hospital ship that will be used to relieve the pressure on New York hospitals dealing with the influx of coronavirus patients.
He told New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo the ship will arrive in New York Harbor on Monday.
Trump added in a White House press conference that he will “kiss it goodbye” and that the ship is “loaded up to the top” with medical supplies.
LIVE: Press Briefing with Coronavirus Task Force https://t.co/Z8tK225cN6
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 26, 2020
The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in New York increased to 3,800 this week, including close to 900 in intensive care, with the projected peak of the outbreak still weeks away.
Governors across the country learned on Thursday that the Trump administration is preparing to issue new social distancing guidelines based on geographic risk factors.
Closer to home, Florida has 2,484 confirmed cases and 29 deaths as of Thursday evening, and another 24,855 negative tests, with 1,774 more pending. Miami-Dade County has the most cases in the state, at 654. Broward is second with 505 cases and three deaths, and Palm Beach County is third, with 174 confirmed cases and three deaths.
The state’s death total for Broward does not include three more residents of Atria Willow Wood, an assisted living facility in Fort Lauderdale, whose deaths were reported Thursday. In addition, Dr. Alex Hsu, a longtime internist in the county, also reportedly succumbed to the virus this week.
Despite the local increase in cases, Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner announced Thursday that the federal government does not plan to open a drive-through testing site here. Testing for the virus in Palm Beach County currently ranks among the lowest areas in the state.
On Wednesday, Kerner said the state had approved the county’s application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a testing center, with a stipulation that local officials would have to find enough swabs to conduct the tests.
Kerner says the county is considering having the National Guard establish at least one site, although he believes the county needs two testing sites.