Meanwhile, New York State, the most affected by the epidemic, is preparing to partially resume business
Coronavirus reached the White House at a time when the administration was considering the possibility of resuming certain elements of socio-economic life in the United States, which took first place in the world both in the number of detected COVID-19 infections and in the number of deaths.
At least two White House employees have been infected with the coronavirus: President Donald Trump’s personal service representative and Vice President Spokesman Mike Pence.
Trump confirmed on Friday that the test results for Katie Miller, spokeswoman for Pence, who is also the wife of Trump’s assistant Stephen Miller, were positive.
A spokesman for Mike Pence said that the test results of the vice president are negative, and he will return to the White House on Monday.
“Vice President Pence will continue to implement the recommendations of the White House medical unit and is not in quarantine,” said his spokesman Devin O’Malley on Sunday.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the White House’s chief expert in the fight against coronavirus, is in isolation, although his test yielded a negative result.
In total, more than 1.3 million infected were identified in the United States, more than 80 thousand people died.
The epidemic dealt the most serious blow to the state of New York, where as of Sunday there were 335395 cases of the disease detected and 26670 deaths.
At the same time, some areas of New York State and neighboring states are set to partially resume business from May 15, after some states with lower infection rates began to ease restrictions.
As part of this plan, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo decided that staff in nursing homes in his state should be tested for coronavirus twice a week.
At a Sunday briefing, Cuomo said that care and support organizations, including nursing homes that would not meet the new requirements, would lose their licenses.
The rate of increase in new infections in New York has slowed, but mortality is increasing, especially in nursing homes.
Elderly people make up one-fifth of all deaths in New York or about 5300 people. Cuomo was criticized for his lack of attention to this age group., But he rejected these allegations.
“The virus uses nursing homes, this is its target. These people are a vulnerable group in a vulnerable place, ”he said.
Under the new rules, hospitals cannot discharge patients to nursing homes until their test results are negative.
Elderly people account for a significant part of deaths in other regions of the world, especially in Sweden, which did not impose restrictions on leaving home, but instead relied on people to show responsibility and take precautionary measures. As a result, more than 26 thousand cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Sweden, twice as many as in neighboring Norway and Denmark combined. More people died from coronavirus in Sweden than in all other Scandinavian countries: Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland. A third of the dead in Sweden are elderly.
The British government on Sunday unveiled a three-stage plan to open a country that ranks third in terms of the number of infected after the United States and Spain.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that he intends to exercise caution and that the transition to each next stage will be carried out only after all the conditions of the previous one are met. He also announced penalties for people who do not follow orders.
Some European and other countries have already begun to relax restrictions introduced to contain the virus – with mixed results. While only a few new cases were reported in Australia, New Zealand, and Vietnam, or none at all, in Germany and South Korea there was a surge after the discovery.
In Germany, which began to ease social restrictions last week, several regional outbreaks occurred, especially in nursing homes and slaughterhouses.
“It will only end when it is over,” said South Korean President Moon Jae-ying on Sunday amid the biggest spike in infections in the country in a month.
It was planned that South Korean schools will resume classes this week, but the opening may be delayed after new outbreaks. Officials say a decision on the next steps will be made based on an analysis of new cases.
China reported 14 new cases on Sunday – this is the first case in ten days when this figure is a double-digit number.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the number of detected cases of infection exceeded 4 million, more than 280 thousand people died.