Thank you, health care workers

Ashley Shaffer, USA TODAY
Janelle Engström Orbon, a critical care nurse, and her team at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

The USA faced its deadliest day of the coronavirus outbreak so far while health care professionals across the nation mobilize to combat the pandemic. 

It's Ashley. Let's talk news, shall we? But first, a standing ovation

Nurses, doctors, health care workers, you have our thanks

The Short List is featuring stories from health care workers on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19. We want to hear your story. Email me at ashley@usatoday.com

"I just flew back to my old home, New York City, to help during this coronavirus crisis. It’s really bad here. It’s worse than I thought. I’ve built such deep emotional bonds with my nurse family in New York that it only made sense for me to come back for this. That may seem crazy, but successful nurses are a lot like police officers or firefighters – we work as a team. All nurses serve patients, but we also serve each other."

— Janelle Engström Orbon, critical care nurse 

Janelle Engström Orbon, a critical care nurse, has been an acute care nurse for 8 years. She recently returned to New York Presbyterian Hospital.

New York City trades 'Ground Zero' for 'epicenter'

The coronavirus death toll in the USA surged past 3,700 Tuesday, eclipsing the grim total from the 9/11 terror attacks. More than 900 people have died in Manhattan alone, and the city opened temporary hospitals in a convention center, a Navy ship and Central Park. Still, the nation's top health expert found some reason for hope, saying social distancing was working and the rate of increase of New York City cases might be starting to slow. 

Americans abroad should return home "immediately"

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made his advice to U.S. citizens overseas during the coronavirus crisis simple: "Americans who wish to return home from abroad should so immediately," he stressed Tuesday during a briefing. Though Pompeo said his task force remains committed to bringing all Americans home, the window to do so is closing. 

Chris Cuomo "is going to be fine”

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, the brother of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, tested positive for coronavirus. “He’s my best friend,” the New York governor said in a news conference. He said the CNN personality is quarantined in his own basement and "is going to be fine." Cuomo will continue to anchor "Cuomo Prime Time" from his home.

Give it to me straight 

More than 500 deaths were reported nationwide Monday, the highest daily total since the first American died six weeks ago. The U.S. death toll has surpassed China, where the pandemic began late last year. 

Chris Cuomo has tested positive for coronavirus, he announced Tuesday.

What's everyone’s talking about? You guessed it: COVID-19.

Tornadoes probably hit Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia

Strong storms with high winds and possible tornadoes toppled trees from Mississippi to Georgia on Tuesday, smashing buildings, blocking roads and causing power outages as utility lines fell. Forecasters said significant structural damage occurred near the Alabama-Georgia line after a possible tornado was reported, and the National Weather Service reported "considerable" damage in George County, Mississippi.

Trump's calling shotgun, Obama

The Trump administration proposes a modest increase in fuel-efficiency standards for new cars and trucks, scrapping a more aggressive Obama-era rule aimed at curbing carbon emissions. Administration officials who unveiled the rule Tuesday said it will save hundreds of lives each year by encouraging families to buy newer cars that have the latest safety features because they'll be more affordable when freed from meeting tougher standards. Democratic lawmakers and environmental advocates slammed the change as a further gutting of Obama-era efforts to slow the effects of climate change

Real quick 

The ‘Tiger King’ surprises keep on coming 

Have you watched the Netflix docu-series “Tiger King”? It’s a new true-crime series that explores the life of Joe Exotic, a man with an affinity for big cats, blond mullets, guns and explosives. More importantly, it highlights his hatred for big cat sanctuary owner Carole Baskin. Eagle-eyed fans figured out that one of the animal handlers on the show, Bhagavan "Doc" Antle, appeared onstage with Britney Spears during her memorable performance of "I'm a Slave 4 U" at the 2001 MTV Video Music Awards. (You know you remember that massive yellow Burmese python draped over her shoulders 🐍). 

If you haven't watched “Tiger King," it's a definite contender for a Netflix Party

2001: Britney Spears is responsible for a handful of the VMAs' most iconic moments. Only one of them featured a snake.

A break from the news

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Chris Cuomo, New York City, 9/11: Tuesday's news