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Global death toll tops 100,000 as Trump speaks of reopening the economy

The global death toll from coronavirus has now passed the 100,000 mark, just four months after the illness first appeared. In the U.S., 18,000 people have died -- nearly double the total from a week ago. Still, some hot spots are seeing signs of hope. Meanwhile, President Trump is talking of restarting the economy but says he will listen to public health advisers before acting. John Yang reports.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    The coronavirus pandemic has reached a deadly new high, just over four months after it began.

    The worldwide death toll passed 100,000 today. That figure includes some 18,000 deaths in the United States, nearly double from a week ago.

    Meanwhile, President Trump is taking anew — talking anew of restarting the economy, but says that he will listen to his health advisers.

    John Yang begins our coverage.

  • John Yang:

    At the end of the week that officials predicted would be the height of the crisis, Dr. Anthony Fauci said things are improving.

  • Anthony Fauci:

    We're starting to see the leveling off and the coming down.

  • John Yang:

    But he cautioned that, whenever restrictions are relaxed, coronavirus cases are likely to increase.

  • Anthony Fauci:

    When we decide at a proper time when we're going to be relaxing some of the restrictions, there's no doubt you're going to see cases. I would be so surprised if you we did not see cases. The question is how you respond to them.

  • John Yang:

    President Trump said he would form a new task force to get the nation back to business as soon and as safely as possible.

  • President Donald Trump:

    We're looking at a date. We hope we're going to be able to fulfill a certain date. But we're not doing anything until we know that this country is going to be healthy.

  • John Yang:

    In hard-hit New York, for the first time since the beginning of the outbreak, the state reported a net decline in intensive care unit admissions, mirroring pattern also seen in another hot spot, California.

    Governor Gavin Newsom warned it's not time yet for the state to let its guard down.

  • Governor Gavin Newsom:

    Let's continue to hold the line and let's just do this together. Give us a few more weeks to see where these trend lines go, and then we will be talking a lot more.

  • John Yang:

    In Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti's order took effect, mandating that shoppers wear masks in places like grocery stores and pharmacies, an effort to protect essential retail workers.

    Overnight, front-line workers were honored in cities like New York, Dallas and Chicago, which lit up their skylines in blue.

    In Washington, D.C., which is bracing for a likely surge in COVID-19 cases, the mayor asked churches to move their Easter services online.

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser:

    I want to thank all of our faith communities and religious leaders who are helping save lives by helping their services online and encouraging members of their congregations to celebrate at home.

  • John Yang:

    From Australia to the Philippines, many faithful turned to online Good Friday services, including the mass Pope Francis said in a mostly empty St. Peter's Basilica.

    But in Dusseldorf, Germany, parishioners took things offline, gathering at a drive-in movie theater for a ceremony that, even with worshipers in their vehicles, brought back the feeling of togetherness they had been yearning for.

  • Sonja Kretschmar (through translator):

    In the current times, this is a unique opportunity to be with the parish, instead of at home. We're here with friends. There are friends all over here in their cars, and we think it's amazing to have the chance to celebrate together, certainly unforgettable.

  • John Yang:

    Meanwhile, European Union finance ministers agreed to a $590 billion package to combat the unprecedented economic fallout of the pandemic.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm John Yang.

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