Health workers load a deceased person into a trailer outside of the Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York. File/Reuters
New York state's coronavirus toll continued rising at a devastating pace Saturday, as authorities issued an emergency plea for volunteers to assist at US outbreak epicenter.
The state has recorded 3,565 deaths as Governor Andrew Cuomo warned the worst was yet to come.
Cuomo said infections could peak in the state in four to 14 days -- but he cautioned that already strained hospitals were not yet prepared.
"Part of me would like to be at the apex and just, 'let's do it.' But there's part of me that says it's good that we're not at the apex because we're not yet ready," he said.
‘Like an entire lifetime’
The death toll in the state was up from 2,935 the previous day; the additional 630 deaths represented the largest 24-hour spike recorded there.
New York's statewide total is now roughly 6,000 shy of hard-hit Italy's total number of cases.
New York City, meanwhile, has tallied 63,306 confirmed cases and 2,624 deaths.
Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said Saturday that projections estimate patterns of spread in the United States are approximately 12 days behind Italy and Spain.
Cuomo said recent weeks have felt "like an entire lifetime."
"I think we all feel the same, these stresses, this country, this state -- like nothing I've experienced in my lifetime."
He said the federal government will now staff and equip the overflow hospital set up at Manhattan's sprawling Javits Convention Center -- which has 2,500 beds -- to treat coronavirus patients.
President Donald Trump said 1,000 military personnel, mostly doctors and nurses, would be deployed to New York City to "assist where they're needed the most."
"That's the hottest of all the hot spots," the president said at the White House.
Some 85,000 volunteers -- including 22,000 from out of state -- have signed up to help in New York.
Hours earlier, New York City sent a wireless emergency alert to its 8.6 million residents urging licensed health workers to volunteer.
"Anyone who's not already in this fight, we need you," said Mayor Bill de Blasio, urgently seeking help from "any health care professional: doctor, nurse, respiratory therapist, you name it."The mayor has estimated the city will need 45,000 more medical personnel to fight the pandemic through April and May.
New York state has seen far more cases — 76,000 — and deaths than any other since announcing its first infection on March 1 and quickly emerging as the epicenter of the US outbreak.
The mixed messaging was the latest from a president whose remarks from the White House podium have frequently raised eyebrows, including most recently a suggestion that disinfectant could be injected to treat patients with COVID-19.
The dire forecast from the United States came as much of the Western world emerged from weeks of lockdown, with hopes that the disease may have peaked in Europe, where deaths in the worst affected countries have dropped after nearly two months of confinement.
At least 256,422 people have died of the novel coronavirus since the epidemic surfaced in China late last year, according to an AFP tally. The United States is the worst-hit country, with more than 70,000 deaths, ahead of Britain where fatalities topped 32,000.
The leaders vowed that Russian President Vladimir Putin and those responsible would be held to account for Monday's strike in the city of Kremenchuk, carried out during the shopping mall's busiest hours.
The attacks shattered apartment buildings, video footage showed. The blast gouged a vast crater in front of the school, with debris strewn about classrooms, their windows all blown out.
South Texas has long been the busiest area for illegal border crossings. migrants ride in vehicles though Border Patrol checkpoints to San Antonio, the closest major city, from which point they disperse across the United States.