Confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States topped 5 million Saturday, just 16 days after the case count topped 4 million on July 23 — with the rapid growth upending everything from back-to-school plans to the broader U.S. economy.
There were at least 5,000,200 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. Saturday, according to the New York Times database, which was slightly higher than Johns Hopkins, a grim milestone fueled by a daily average growth in mid-July of 70,000 cases, including a leap of 77,233 cases on July 17, according to the Covid Tracking Project.
The first U.S. case of Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, was reported Jan. 21, and the country saw significant growth in March and April.
A new surge took hold in early summer and continued through Friday, when the country added 58,173 new confirmed cases, along with an additional 1,243 deaths.
The growth comes as U.S. residents face a patchwork of state and local responses, no clear federal mandates and an uncertain financial future as negotiations broke down Friday over another federal stimulus program, prompting President Trump to threaten to use executive orders to provide jobless aid, suspend some payroll taxes, impose a partial moratorium on evictions and assist with student-loan payments.
Globally, as of Saturday, there have been more than 19 million worldwide confirmed cases and 723,599 deaths according to Johns Hopkins, with Brazil — posting nearly 3 million cases and more than 100,000 deaths — coming in second only to the United States in both case counts and mortality.
The U.S. surge has left back-to-school plans for in disarray, as many, including colleges like Princeton University, walk back earlier plans to hold in-person classes.
Covid-19 has cut a deadly swath across the nation, hitting especially hard in communities of color. There is no known cure, but Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Friday, during a Q&A with the Brown University School of Public Health, that scientists are hoping to develop a coronavirus vaccine that is at least 75% effective; adding that 50% or 60% effective would be acceptable, according to CNBC. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical giant Gilead, the maker of remdesivir — seemingly the most effective drug treatment for the disease — faces a challenge by many states that want access to the drug’s patents, according to Law360. A group of 34 attorneys general told the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health and FDA that “Gilead should not profit from the pandemic and it should be pushed to do more to help more people,” according to multiple media reports. Gilead said it’s “deeply disappointed that a group of state attorneys general have chosen to misrepresent facts.”