More than 100,000 people in the United States have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, killing more than 1,500.
Hospitals around the country are overwhelmed as some resources remain limited.
Cases in New York state alone hitting 44,000, and officials warning of “hard days,” President Donald Trump finally triggered the Defense Production Act to require General Motors to start making much-needed ventilators after being heavily criticised for his delays in invoking the emergency legislation.
Most attention has focused on the US, where the Trump administration’s haphazard and tardy response to the epidemic has seen the world’s highest number of reported infections.
“What we’re seeing now, in actual real time, is something that’s unprecedented,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, even as Trump signed off on a $2.2tn (£1.8tn) economic stimulus package on Friday, saying the country was in “uncharted waters”.
“This is something we have never seen before, at least in our generation. They’ve seen maybe something like this 100 years ago.”
Fauci’s comments came as New York governor Andrew Cuomo called for 4,000 more temporary beds across New York City, where the Jacob K Javits Convention Center has already been converted into a hospital.