Coronavirus-related deaths top 4,000 in US as White House task force projects up to 240,000 deaths
The number of coronavirus-related deaths topped 4,000 in the U.S. on Tuesday night, just one day after reaching the 3,000 mark.

The U.S. has now surpassed China by more than 700 COVID-19 fatalities — as the White House Coronavirus Task Force said it projects 100,000 to 240,000 Americans will ultimately die from the virus — with millions more infected.

Without any measures in place to mitigate the contagion’s spread, those projections jump to between 1.5 million and 2.2 million deaths from COVID-19, officials said Tuesday.

“This is going to be a rough two-week period,” President Trump said Tuesday at a White House news briefing. “As a nation we’re going to have a really rough two weeks. Our strength will be tested and our endurance will be tried.”

China — where the outbreak started — has reported 3,310 virus-related deaths, while more than 4,070 have died in the U.S. Click here for more on our top story.

Other related developments:
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– NYC’s coronavirus death toll tops 1,000

Rick Perry warns US energy sector on verge of ‘massive collapse’ due to coronavirus pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has brought the once-thriving U.S. oil and energy sector to the verge of a “massive collapse,” former Energy Secretary Rick Perry warned Tuesday on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”

Sweeping restrictions on work and travel have brought industrial activity to a near-standstill, Perry explained, meaning fewer cars on the road and fewer flights in the air — translating to a major decrease in demand for oil, which is bad news for America’s energy producers.

“Our capacity is full and the Saudis are flooding this market with cheap oil,” Perry told host Tucker Carlson. “I’m telling you, we are on the verge of a massive collapse of an industry that we worked awfully hard over the course of the last three or four years to build up to the number one oil and gas producing country in the world, giving Americans some affordable energy resources.”

Other related developments:
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– Austria to make face masks mandatory at supermarkets

Coronavirus outbreak marks China’s latest attempt to cover up negative info
Beijing says it’s slowly beginning to emerge from the coronavirus crisis that originated on its soil, while putting its propaganda machine to work to craft a favorable narrative. Weeks after announcing the outbreak, some critics — particularly the United States — are accusing China of purposely failing to inform the public, thereby exacerbating the crisis.

A Chinese doctor who has since died of the virus tried sounding alarms during its early stages. Li Wenliang — who worked in a Wuhan hospital and has since been hailed as a hero — was detained with eight other doctors for posting information about patients with respiratory problems on WeChat, a Chinese messaging platform.

Accusations of covering up unfavorable news to protect its image are nothing new to the Chinese Communist Party, which has a penchant for secrecy that has hampered containment efforts in the past. When the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic broke out there in late 2002, the Chinese government was accused of failing to take action for several months.

Other coronavirus developments:
– Tucker Carlson blasts WHO leadership as ‘lapdogs’ for the Chinese government
– California nursing home sees more than 50 coronavirus infections
– Coronavirus: What you need to know

McCarthy rips Pelosi, says Dems were ‘preoccupied with impeachment instead of protecting this country.’
Trump administration sending troops to border as part of coronavirus fight.
DOJ’s FISA report contradicts claims by Dems, media figures that surveillance rules were strictly observed.

Stock futures fall on continuing worries about economic fallout.
Japan’s business mood hits 7-year low as virus revives deflation specter.
Oil’s record coronavirus slide is nowhere near bottom.

Brit Hume slams critics’ comparisons between Trump’s coronavirus briefings and his campaign rallies as “preposterous” and “absurd.”