NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus climbed past 3,500 Tuesday, eclipsing China’s official count, as the deepening crisis in New York hit close to home for the governor when he disclosed, teary-eyed, that his brother, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, has become infected.
“Luckily we caught it early enough,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said of his 49-year-old brother, now quarantined in his basement. “But it’s my family, it’s your family, it’s all of our families. But this virus is that insidious, and we must keep that all in mind.”
Elsewhere around the world, hard-hit Italy reported that the infection rate appears to be leveling off and new cases could start declining, but that the crisis is far from over. Spain struggled to fend off the collapse of its hospital system. Vladimir Putin’s Russia moved to crack down on quarantine violations and “fake news” about the outbreak. And China edged closer to normal as stores in the epicenter city of Wuhan began reopening.
Worldwide, more than 800,000 people have been infected and over 40,000 have died, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. Italy and Spain accounted for half the deaths, while the U.S. had around 3,550 by midday, overtaking China’s official toll of about 3,300.