New York deaths double in 3 days, with worst to come

April 1, 2020

NEW YORK (AP) — New York authorities rushed to bring in an army of medical volunteers Wednesday as the statewide death toll from the coronavirus doubled in 72 hours to more than 1,900 and the wail of ambulances in the otherwise eerily quiet streets of the city became the heartbreaking soundtrack of the crisis.

As hot spots flared around the U.S. in places like New Orleans, Detroit and Southern California, the nation’s biggest city was the hardest hit of them all, accounting for most of the state’s deaths, with bodies loaded onto refrigerated morgue trucks by gurney and forklift outside overwhelmed hospitals, in full view of passing motorists.

And the worst is yet to come.

“How does it end? And people want answers,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. “I want answers. The answer is nobody knows for sure.”

Across the U.S., Americans braced for what President Donald Trump warned could be “one of the roughest two or three weeks we’ve ever had in our country.” The White House projected 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in the U.S. before the crisis is over, and Vice President Mike Pence said models for the outbreak show the country on a trajectory akin to hard-hit Italy’s.

Under growing pressure, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis belatedly joined Cuomo and governors in more than 30 states when he issued a statewide stay-at-home order, taking action after conferring with fellow Republican Trump. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, expanded his stay-at-home order to cover the entire state.

Meanwhile, European nations facing extraordinary demand for intensive-care beds are putting up makeshift hospitals, unsure whether they will find enough healthy medical staff to run them. London is just days from unveiling a 4,000-bed temporary hospital built in a huge convention center.

In a…