This week, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States climbed past 1 million, amounting to approximately one third of the worldwide total.


President Trump has falsely claimed that “we’ve tested more than every country combined,” but in reality the US still lags behind the average testing rate across other developed countries, and continued testing shortages in Maine have “hamstrung” public health officials’ efforts to curb the spread of the virus.


Despite Trump’s failure to provide the federal support that Maine needs in this crisis, Senator Susan Collins has defended his response to the pandemic, claiming that he “did a lot that was right in the beginning.” Last week, when a Portland Press Herald investigation revealed that the Trump administration had provided false information about PPE distribution, Collins was the only member of Maine’s Congressional delegation not to demand accountability and transparency. When will Collins stop covering for Trump and start fighting for Maine?


“The inadequate federal response to the coronavirus has allowed the outbreak here in the US to become the worst in the world,” said Maine Democratic Party Chair Kathleen Marra. “For Senator Collins to defend this administration's failures while Maine is still without the testing capacity and PPE our health care providers need is inexcusable. We need our leaders to stand up to Trump and fight for Maine, but Collins would rather keep making excuses for this president.”


The Washington Post: Covid-19 cases top 1 million in the United States, about a third of known cases worldwide


By Anne Gearan and Felicia Sonmez

April 28, 2020


Key Points:


  • Confirmed cases of covid-19 in the United States rose above 1 million Tuesday, representing about a third of known cases worldwide, as President Trump continued to defend his administration’s record on providing tests the country will need to reopen safely.


  • The grim milestone was expected, even as some states move to lift restrictions meant to slow the spread of the disease.


  • The 1 million mark and a U.S. death toll of more than 57,000 so far suggest that closures of schools, businesses and public spaces in many parts of the country over the past two months have helped. Some public health models had projected about 100 million cases in the United States by May and an eventual U.S. death toll above 2 million if no measures were taken to prevent the disease’s spread.


  • “It will go down to zero, ultimately,” Trump said when asked about the caseload Tuesday, and about his prediction in February that U.S. cases would quickly dwindle to zero.


  • The United States has the world’s highest number of confirmed cases, but Trump suggested Tuesday that the figure is misleading because “we’re doing much, much more testing than anybody else in the world.”


  • The number of coronavirus tests performed per 1,000 people in the United States is below the average of the 36 member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to figures released Tuesday by the international body.


  • The United States had conducted 16.4 tests per 1,000 people, compared with Iceland, at the top of the list, which had tested 135 people per 1,000.


  • The United States was behind the OECD average of 23.1, and behind Spain, the country with the second-highest number of confirmed cases. U.S. testing per capita was roughly half that of Italy’s, the OECD found. Italy has the third-highest number of confirmed cases after the United States and Spain.


  • Trump also ordered meat production plants to remain open to head off a food supply shortage, despite mounting reports of plant worker deaths due to covid-19.


  • Americans overwhelmingly support state-imposed restrictions on businesses and the size of public gatherings to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, according to a new Washington Post-University of Maryland poll.


  • The poll finds that Americans’ concerns about becoming seriously ill from the virus have not eased in the past week. It also shows that they continue to give their governors significantly higher ratings than they offer Trump, who still draws mostly negative reviews for his handling of the crisis.


  • In the United States, Vice President Pence received a covid-19 treatment update at the Mayo Clinic campus in Minnesota, where he was photographed meeting with staff members and a patient while not wearing a protective mask. Doctors and others giving the vice president a tour were all wearing masks. In a since-deleted tweet, the clinic said Pence had been informed ahead of time about the facility’s policy of wearing masks.


  • Trump has said that despite the recommendation of his top health experts, he himself did not plan to wear a face mask. Neither he nor Cabinet officials and experts who have briefed the press in recent weeks have worn masks while doing so.


  • A coalition representing the nation’s hospitals, health insurers and businesses called on Congress on Tuesday to provide additional financial help for the growing number of Americans who are losing health coverage as they lose jobs during the coronavirus pandemic.


  • The groups are hoping to influence another relief package being debated on Capitol Hill. The options, which industry leaders call a “menu,” include new subsidies to employers to help them preserve health benefits during the pandemic, as well as helping more Americans afford to buy health plans through Affordable Care Act marketplaces by subsidizing premiums up to a higher income threshold.


  • Trump, an opponent of the ACA, has resisted that idea.