“I have hope. It’s all I can do,” he said.
On Thursday, Commerce Department data for the second quarter showed the deepest contractions in the U.S. economy since the Great Depression.
The bulk of the plunge in gross domestic product occurred in April after businesses, including restaurants, bars, theaters and factories, closed to slow the spread of the virus.
The latest high-profile victim of COVID-19 was Herman Cain, a former Republican presidential candidate and supporter of President Donald Trump, who apparently refused to wear a mask.
Cain was diagnosed with the disease in late June after attending a Tulsa, Oklahoma rally for Trump, an event where many in attendance filled crowds together without wearing face masks. Cain tweeted a photo of himself at the unmasked event, surrounded by other Trump supporters.
“We are heartbroken and the world is poorer: Herman Cain has gone to be with God,” a statement on his website said.
The United States spread initially focused on the northeastern region around New York, which still has by far the highest death toll from any state at more than 32,000.
On Thursday, Mark Levine, chairman of the New York City Council’s health committee, voiced alarm that cases are rising again in the area, pointing to New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts.