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Finally! Coronavirus Hope. President Sees 'Light at the End of the Tunnel'

04-07-2020
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A body wrapped in plastic that was unloaded from a refrigerated truck is handled by medical workers wearing personal protective equipment due to COVID-19 concerns, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A body wrapped in plastic that was unloaded from a refrigerated truck is handled by medical workers wearing personal protective equipment due to COVID-19 concerns, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Even as the US passed the grim threshold of 11,000 coronavirus deaths, President Trump is sounding hopeful, and there's fresh evidence the worst could soon be over. 

Trump told reporters, "We're going to have a rough week. We're going to have maybe a rough, little more than a week, but there's tremendous light at the end of that tunnel."

In New York, the epicenter of the US outbreak, the number of hospital admissions, deaths and ICU patients is down for the third day in a row. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said, "Those are the kind of good signs that you look for. You never even begin to think about claiming victory prematurely, but that's the first thing you see when there's a turnaround."

The director of the Centers for Disease Control, Robert Redfield, says he believes the projection of the US death toll could be much lower than expected.

And a University of Washington model now predicts the peak of the outbreak as soon as  April 16, with a death toll of 82,000. While it's a respected model, it varies from others, and federal and state leaders are still preparing for the worst. 

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But Vice President Mike Pence says social distancing is working.

"The initial data, what we've seen in California and Washington, support the fact that the American people are doing these things, which is nothing short of loving your neighbor," Pence said. 

But New York hospitals are still overwhelmed: The US Navy ship Comfort is now treating COVID-19 cases from New Jersey as well as New York, and a crew member onboard has tested positive for COVID-19.

And as the number of deaths increases daily, some New York funeral homes have been overwhelmed. Dolores Pennachio at Scarpaci Funeral Home in Brooklyn said, "You know normally you do 3 or 4 (funerals) a week.. and we're doing 3 or 4 a day."
                
New York is extending its stay at home order until the end of April.

Meanwhile, administration critics are seizing on memos by White House adviser Peter Navarro in late January and February calling for aggressive action to prepare for a potential pandemic, and raising questions about the president's handling of the crisis, early on.

In Britain, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved to the intensive care unit of a London hospital after his coronavirus symptoms worsened. But aides say he is conscious and does not require ventilation at the moment. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced a complete lockdown in Israel over the upcoming Passover holiday, to control the country's coronavirus outbreak.

But in Europe, news that Italy and Spain are also seeing numbers drop has some optimistic the worst may be over there.

It fueled a bump in global markets that was reflected on Wall Street Monday, with the Dow up almost 8 percent, as traders saw hope that the coronavirus outbreak could be slowing.

The president and Congress are apparently in agreement that more economic relief is needed, with House Democrats reportedly considering a package that could surpass $1 trillion.  

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