As the United States on Tuesday surpassed 50,000 cases of the Coronavirus and over 600 deaths attributed to the outbreak, officials at the World Health Organization said Americans could soon own the dubious distinction of being the biggest part of the virus epidemic which began in China.
“We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the U.S.," said WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris.
"So, it does have that potential,” said Harris, when asked if the U.S. could be the epicenter of the pandemic soon.
“We cannot say that is the case yet, but it does have that potential,” Harris added.
That observation came as New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo publicly pleaded with the Trump Administration to deliver more aid, forecasting a devastating rise in infections and hospitalizations in his state in coming weeks.
"We haven’t flattened the curve. And the curve is actually increasing," Cuomo said sitting at the Javits Center in Manhattan, which is going to be turned into a 1,000 bed hospital facility with the help of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
"The rate of new infections is doubling about every three days," Cuomo said of his own state, describing that as a 'dramatic increase' which would raise the number of hospital beds needed to treat those likely to fall seriously ill.
#NEW: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on COVID-19 pandemic:— Jennifer Franco (@jennfranconews) March 24, 2020
"The increase in the number of cases continues, unabated...the rate of increase has gone up...rate of new infections is doubling about every 3 days...we're not slowing it. It is accelerating..."pic.twitter.com/3y2kDVA3wJ
New York's increase was also fueling an increase nationally, as the U.S. has gone from 25,000 cases of the Coronavirus to 50,000 cases - in just three days.
It took nine weeks for the U.S. to reach its first 25,000 cases.
The most deaths at this point are in New York, followed by Washington State, Louisiana, Georgia, and California.
In the Bayou State, Louisiana health officials reported a sharp increase, with 12 new deaths announced on Tuesday, bringing the toll to 46 in that state.
Acknowledging that his state has the highest per capita number of case of Coronavirus in the country, the Governor of the Bayou State said the reason may have been Mardi Gras.
"The first confirmed case in the state of Louisiana, the first person who tested positive did so 13 days after Fat Tuesday, and did so in the New Orleans area," Gov. Jon Bel Edwards (D-LA) said on Tuesday.
Edwards said despite efforts to restrict social activities in the state, they have not seen a slowdown in the growth rate of the outbreak.
Coronavirus outbreak, U.S.— Norbert Elekes (@NorbertElekes) March 24, 2020
From 0 to 25,000 cases: 9 weeks
From 25,000 to 50,000 cases: 3 days
In Washington on Tuesday, President Donald Trump told Fox News that he envisioned a much more open United States starting on Easter Sunday, April 12.
"You'll have packed churches all over our country. I think it'll be a beautiful time," the President said.