Concerns about a California winter COVID wave increase as Europe sees rise in cases
MILWAUKEE — The U.S. death toll rose to 18 on Sunday, surpassing China in China and putting the U.S. in “the top five countries” in the world to be hit by the COVID-19 disease, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said.
“It’s certainly a very challenging time for us,” Azar told reporters in Milwaukee.
The deaths on Sunday included three in California. The number of cases in the nation’s second most populous state climbed to 452 in 24 hours, with a total of 1,056 cases in California, New York state, and New Jersey, according to Azar’s office.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Azar said.
That’s the number that’s in front of the president and the state’s legislative leaders. It’s not just the federal government, of course. The state has also requested help from the federal government.
On Sunday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that while he didn’t have a specific timeline on whether the state would receive federal assistance on Sunday, his top priority would be increasing testing capacity.
“I want to have the highest level of testing capability,” Cuomo said. “If we had more, then we will be able to deal with this crisis better.”
The president is “making the right call” about the virus, Andrew Scott, the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, said in a statement Sunday.
“This disease has now entered and is spreading throughout our nation. While it is too early to know if the virus’ spread will affect every state in this country, as we fight to save more lives, I have no doubt that we will all come through this together,” he said in the statement.
Scott added that the president’s response to the virus is good public health policy.