As the US approached 100,000 deaths from COVID-19, the New York Times yesterday marked the grim milestone with a stark memorial on its front page — one-line obituaries for 1,000 victims.
“The 1,000 people here reflect just 1 percent of the toll. None were mere numbers,” the newspaper said in a short introduction on the front page, which was entirely covered in text.
As of Saturday evening, the US had recorded 97,048 deaths and 1.6 million cases of the virus, and will likely reach 100,000 fatalities in a matter of days.
Victims featured by the New York Times included “Joe Diffie, 62, Nashville, Grammy-winning country music star,” and “Lila A. Fenwick, 87, New York City, first black woman to graduate from Harvard Law School.”
Marc Lacey, the paper’s national editor, said: “I wanted something that people would look back on in 100 years to understand the toll of what we’re living through.”
The milestone of 100,000 deaths loomed as states across the US ease lockdown measures.
US President Donald Trump has pressed for a further reopening of the country as job losses mount and the economy slows from coronavirus shutdowns.
“TRANSITION TO GREATNESS,” Trump tweeted on Saturday, his slogan for the reopening of the US.
However, online commentators noted the dissonance between the staggering death toll and Trump’s tweet.
Trump played golf at one of his courses on Saturday during the Memorial Day weekend as he urged states to relax their lockdowns.
In India, three large states have sought to delay the planned opening of their airports today as new cases of the novel coronavirus jumped by a record, complicating the federal government’s plan to resume flights after a two-month lockdown.
India yesterday registered 6,767 new cases of the disease, the country’s biggest 24-hour jump yet, taking the total to more than 131,000.
In Germany, which has drawn praise for its handling of the virus, seven people appear to have been infected at a restaurant in the northwest of the country. It would be the first such known case since restaurants started reopening two weeks ago.
France on Saturday allowed in-person services to resume after a legal challenge to a ban on gatherings in places of worship.
One of the world’s major pilgrimage sites reopened yesterday: the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, built on the site where Christians believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.
Brazil and Mexico reported record numbers of infections and deaths almost daily last week, fueling criticism of their presidents for limited lockdowns.
Infections also rose and intensive care units were swamped in Peru, Chile and Ecuador.
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