COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has killed more than 120,000 people in the United States, and infected over 2.2 million, according to the latest data. More than 950,000 people have also recovered and over one million cases have been closed.
According to Johns Hopkins University virus tracker, 119,131 Americans had died from COVID-19 as of June 20, 2020 at 8 a.m. and over 2.2 people have contracted the potentially deadly bug.
In the past four days, there have been, on average, over 25,000 new confirmed cases daily, and 2312 new deaths, according to statistics website worldometers.
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Data from Johns Hopkins and Worldometers show that in almost half the states in the United States, rather than ending, the coronavirus pandemic was accelerating with Florida likely to be the new epicenter.
The United States has the worst coronavirus death toll and the largest number of infections in the world, numbers that prompted Washington Post columnist Paul Waldman to write “The whole world is watching America’s failure“.
“It’s remarkable to think that for all the damage President Trump had done to America’s image in the world before the beginning of this year, he could wound it even further. But has he ever.
However, even with the coronavirus accelerating in the United States, President Donald Trump will be holding his first rally on Saturday, and his campaign has already made attendees sign waivers not to sue if they contracted the virus at the rally.
The Washington Post reported that Trump’s rally amid a pandemic and nationwide anger over the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who was killed by a white cop in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, 2020, would likely be met with protests
“A tumultuous rally reigniting President Trump’s reelection campaign. An unremitting pandemic. And persistent protests over racial injustice and police brutality. On Saturday, the three are colliding in Tulsa, where Trump will hold his first campaign rally since the novel coronavirus brought much of public life to a standstill in March,” The Post wrote.
The report added: “The president prepared to gather his supporters in a 19,000-seat indoor arena as new cases of the virus mounted in Tulsa. The event was able to proceed after the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Friday rejected a bid to require the venue, the BOK Center, to enforce social distancing guidelines spelled out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and endorsed by members of the president’s own coronavirus task force. His campaign said it would take the temperatures of attendees and hand out masks but not require them.”
On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that COVID-19 rather than ending was accelerating dangerously around the world with the highest number of cases reported in a single day on Thursday.
The WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sounded the red alert at his regular press briefing from Geneva on Friday, saying that more than 150,000 cases of COVID-19 were recorded on Thursday alone, the highest in a single day.
He said it was understandable people were “fed up” with staying home, but the data suggested that the coronavirus pandemic was accelerating and infecting more people.
He advised those who must go out to wear face masks and respect social distancing to reduce the spread of the respiratory disease.
Dr. Ghebreyesus said most of the new cases came from the Americas, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
He said: “The pandemic is accelerating. More than 150 thousand new cases of COVID-19 were reported to WHO yesterday – the most in a single day so far. Almost half of those cases were reported from the Americas, with large numbers also being reported from South Asia and the Middle East.
“The world is in a new and dangerous phase. Many people are understandably fed up with being at home. Countries are understandably eager to open up their societies and economies.
“But the virus is still spreading fast, it’s still deadly, and most people are still susceptible. We call on all countries and all people to exercise extreme vigilance.
“Continue maintaining your distance from others. Stay home if you feel sick. Keep covering your nose and mouth when you cough. Wear a mask when appropriate. Keep cleaning your hands.
“We continue to call on all countries to focus on the basics: find, isolate, test and care for every case. Trace and quarantine every contact.
“As the pandemic gathers pace, it’s the most vulnerable who will suffer the most. All countries rich and poor have populations who are vulnerable to a higher risk of severe disease and death.”
He called for global solidarity, warning the deadly virus was likely to win if the world was divided and was unable to put politics aside.
Among the guests at the press briefing today was Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Grandi said the number of refugees in the world was increasing dramatically, and in the era of COVID-19 was leaving more people vulnerable.
He said although there have not been major outbreaks in refugees camps, there was still a possibility of major outbreaks, and vigilance should be maintained.