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U.S. coronavirus cases pass 6 million

The U.S. coronavirus case count topped 6 million on Monday, even though infections are falling in nearly every state and the death count appears to have reached a plateau.

The milestone, based on a tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University, comes at a fragile point of the pandemic, with seemingly positive trends tempered by a slowdown in testing and intensifying concern about new hot spots in colleges trying reopen.

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It took less than a month for the case count to rise from 5 million, on Aug. 9. But the spread of the virus appears to be stabilizing, similar to conditions in May, before premature reopenings and insufficient public health efforts like contact tracing and testing led to significant rebounds. The U.S. is now reporting just over 42,000 daily new cases on average, down from roughly 65,000 during the height of this summer’s outbreak.

The U.S. case count remains well ahead of Brazil and India, which have the second and third highest tallies and combined account for more than 7.3 million infections. The U.S. also continues to lead in Covid-19 fatalities, with more than 183,000 deaths. Health experts largely agree the official U.S. numbers are likely an undercount of the virus’ actual toll.

The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, which maintains a forecasting model closely watched by the White House, last week predicted more than 260,000 could die from the virus by Election Day, a 44 percent increase from current levels.

The course of the virus continues to hang over the presidential race, with President Donald Trump pressing Democratic-led states to reopen and using last week’s Republican National Convention to urge Americans to return to work and school. The campaign of Democratic nominee Joe Biden has assailed Trump’s “incompetent” response to the pandemic and blamed him for the faltering economy and staggering job losses.

Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress and Trump’s administration remain gridlocked over the size of a new coronavirus relief bill. Trump on Friday indicated he’s willing to sign a $ 1.3 trillion package, a $ 300 billion increase from the White House and Senate Republicans’ original $ 1 trillion offer but still well below the $ 2.2 trillion that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and congressional Democrats have offered.


Source: Politics, Policy, Political News Top Stories

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