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Cancer survivor from the Philippines among COVID-19 deaths on NYT front page

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Cancer survivor from the Philippines among COVID-19 deaths on NYT front page
Among the 1,000 names included in the front page was: Loretta Mendoza Dionisio, 68, Los Angeles, cancer survivor born in the Philippines.
AFP / Agustin Paullier

MANILA, Philippines — With the United States approaching 100,000 coronavirus deaths, The New York Times Sunday commemorated the tragic milestone with a memorial on its front page—in the form of one-line obituaries for 1,000 victims.

Among the 1,000 names included in the front page was: Loretta Mendoza Dionisio, 68, Los Angeles, cancer survivor born in the Philippines.

A separate report from The Times described Dionisio as "outrageously friendly, the kind of person liable to invite the sales clerk at T-Mobile to join the family for dinner."

"She was tough. At work, she could stare down colleagues who were hairy, blustery and taller than her by a foot or two. And it was true of her husband, Roddy. He could not say no to her," the report added. 

"On March 11, Loretta Dionisio became a data point."

Other notables in the list, which included single mothers and refugees were: "Dante Dennis Flagello, 62, Rome, Ga., his greatest accomplishment was his relationship with his wife." and "William D. Greeke, 55, Massachusetts, thought it was important to know a person's life story."

US President Donald Trump, in the middle of a re-election bid to the presidency, has pressed for a further reopening of the country as job losses mount and the economy slows from shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Transition to greatness," Trump tweeted just the evening before. 

Though casting a stark contrast to the Times' front page Sunday morning, the phrase has been something of a slogan for the US president in pushing for the reopening of America.

At the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Trump's immediate response to the new pathogen was very similar to that of President Rodrigo Duterte, who was quoted as saying: "Everything is well in the country. There's nothing really to be extra scared of that coronavirus thing. Although it has affected a lot of countries, but you know, one or two in any country is not really that fearsome."

In April, at least seven Filipinos were also confirmed to have passed away in New York City, Philippine Consul General in New York City Claro Cristobal said. 

"Numbers alone cannot measure the impact of the coronavirus on America...The 1,000 people here reflect just one percent of the toll. None were mere numbers," The New York Times said of its memorial.

"They were not just names on a list. They were us."

Closer to home, 863 have died of the virus, while 9,737 active cases remain infected according to the health department's last tally on Saturday night. 

Around the world, 5,401,612 have fallen sick to the pathogen, leading to 343,804 deaths since the virus was recorded in Wuhan, China. — Franco Luna with reports from Agence France-Presse

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS

THE NEW YORK TIMES

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