The United States has become the first country to exceed 100,000 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus.
The U.S. reached the grim milestone late Friday afternoon, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University.
Deaths in the U.S. topped 1,500 on Friday.
While New York remained the worst hit city in the U.S., Americans braced for worsening conditions elsewhere, with worrisome infection numbers being reported in New Orleans, Chicago and Detroit.
In New York, where there are more than 44,000 cases statewide, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 passed 6,000 on Friday, double what it had been three days earlier.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for 4,000 more temporary beds across New York City, where the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center has already been converted into a hospital.
“This is going to be weeks and weeks and weeks,” Cuomo told members of the National Guard working at the Javits Center. “This is going to be a long day, and it's going to be a hard day, and it's going to be an ugly day, and it's going to be a sad day.”
President Donald Trump, after earlier rejecting Cuomo's pleas for tens of thousands more ventilators, and the governor's calls to use the Korean War-era Defense Production Act, invoked the law Friday, ordering General Motors to begin manufacturing the breathing machines.
Trump signed a $2.2 trillion stimulus package, after the House approved the sweeping measure by voice vote. Lawmakers in both parties lined up behind the law to send checks to millions of Americans, boost unemployment benefits, help businesses and toss a life preserver to an overwhelmed health care system.
Globally, the count of people with the virus was nearing 600,000.
Italy has the second-most cases with more than 86,000 and China is third with more than 81,000. Italy has the most deaths with 9,134.
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