Three frontline coronavirus workers who gave out masks in NYC hospital all died within weeks of each other – The Sun

THREE New York City hospital workers who were responsible for handing out masks and other protective supplies have all died from the coronavirus, within weeks of each other.

Wayne Edwards, Derik Braswell and Priscilla Carrow worked at Elmhurst Hospital Center in Queens, in the department managing personal protective equipment (PPE).

The trio's jobs didn't involve liaising with patients, but instead centered around inventory orders, stockroom replenishments and handing out supplies, The New York Times reported.

Elmhurst Hospital did not require every employee to wear face masks until April 15, according to emails seen by the Times.

The paper reports that the deaths have shaken other non-clinical employees who had hoped their distance from patients would act as a buffer from the virus.

Ms Carrow who was 65, died on March 30 after working at Elmhurst for 25 years.

Her colleague, 61-year-old Mr Edwards, died two days later. His friend found him on the floor of his apartment, struggling to breathe.

Both had expected to retire within the next year, the Times reported.

Mr Edwards' supervisor, Mr Braswell, 57, died on April 12.

The trio's deaths come as a leaked White House projection model estimated the daily number of American deaths would double by June.

The Trump administration is privately projecting a steady rise in the number of deaths over the next several weeks, hitting around 3,000 deaths a day by June 1, The New York Times reported Monday.

The predictions are based on modeling by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and forecast around 200,000 new cases each day by the end of May – an increase from the current 25,000 a day.

So far, there have been more than 1.6 million cases in the US, and 67,795 people have died.

On Sunday, Trump said the development of a COVID-19 vaccine is "far ahead of any vaccine ever in history," but warned the death toll in the US could hit 100,000 – up from previous estimates of 65,000.

Praising his team's response to the virus during a Fox News town hall, Trump said: "That's one of the reasons we're successful, if you call losing 80 or 90,000 people successful."

During the same virtual town hall, Trump was asked why he did not act sooner to prepare for the outbreak.

"What I did, way early, is I closed our country to China," he said.

America shut its gates to China in early February, however did not stop travel to Europe until March – despite allegedly being briefed to do so earlier.

Later in the town hall, Trump went higher: “We’re going to lose anywhere from 75, 80 to 100,000 people. That’s a horrible thing. We shouldn’t lose one person over this.”

But he said had he not shutdown the country, the US would have lost "a million two, a million four, a million five, that’s the minimum. We would have lost probably higher, it’s possible higher than 2.2."

A handful of states in the US have already started to ease restrictions, despite the number of coronavirus cases continuing to rise across the country.

In Georgia, one of the states with an aggressive reopening plan, the daily death rate continued to rise.

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