US coronavirus deaths top 5,000, more states issue stay-at-home orders

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Coronavirus deaths top 5,000 in US as more states issue stay-at-home orders
Grim news of coronavirus infections and fatalities continued in the U.S. on Wednesday, with the number of confirmed cases rising above 200,000 and the number of deaths surpassing 5,000.

Amid the climbing numbers, five more states – Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Nevada and Pennsylvania – added or expanded stay-at-home orders, while Michigan proposed a 70-day extension of an emergency declaration that had been set to expire April 7.

“Now is the crunch time for us to lessen the peak, to make the bullseye smaller so we don't overrun our health care system,” Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said, according to FOX 5 of Atlanta. He added that the next three weeks were critical for Georgia and that residents needed to “hunker down.”

The White House warned Tuesday that even with social distancing measures, 100,000 to 240,000 in the U.S. could die from the virus. Click here for more on our top story.

Other related developments:
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Jobless claims expected to top 3M for second straight week
The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits is expected to shoot to a record high for a second week in a row as more states enforced stay-at-home measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic, which economists say has pushed the economy into recession.

Thursday's weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department is expected to show that claims blow past last week's record 3.3 million. It will likely reinforce economists' views that the longest employment boom in U.S. history probably ended in March. – Reported by Reuters. Click here for more.

Other related developments:
- Maria Bartiromo predicts 'big rebound' for US economy
- Stock futures rise following 4 percent tumble
- How to file for unemployment

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Wednesday, April 1, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Trump says he can’t confirm China’s coronavirus case numbers
President Trump said Wednesday he could not confirm the veracity of the numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths being reported by China, as he warned Americans to brace for more “horrific” days in dealing with the virus.

While Trump said the numbers being reported by Beijing “seem to be a little on the light side,” the president and National Security Adviser Robert C. O'Brien said they currently have no way to confirm the number of COVID-19 cases being reported by the Chinese government. The comments follow accusations from critics that China is underreporting its cases. Click here for more.

Other coronavirus developments:
- After attacking Trump's coronavirus-related China travel ban as xenophobic, Dems and media have changed tune
- Coronavirus in the US: State-by-state breakdown
- Coronavirus: What you need to know


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#TheFlashback: CLICK HERE to find out what happened on "This Day in History."

Laura Ingraham says that if the "new normal" in America during the fight against coronavirus means using the crisis as a vehicle for advancing a left-wing, freedom-killing agenda, count her out.

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Fox News First is compiled by Fox News' Bryan Robinson. Thank you for making us your first choice in the morning! Stay safe and look out for each other -- we will get through this coronavirus crisis together. We'll see you in your inbox first thing Friday morning.