US surpasses 5 million cases; Trump order raises questions

The U.S. reached another historic milestone Sunday, surpassing 5 million reported cases of COVID-19 — a number roughly equal to one-quarter of total worldwide cases reported.

The numbers continue to roar higher: More than 56,000 new U.S. cases were reported Sunday, with more than 1,000 deaths. More than 162,000 Americans have died in little more than six months.

The Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus dashboard also reported record-breaking numbers in Brazil, the second hardest-hit nation in terms of deaths and cases. Brazil has now exceeded 100,000 deaths and 3 million cases. 

All this as the world neared 20 million cases, a number experts widely believe is underreported due to insufficient testing. 

The staggering numbers come as world leaders grapple with the ongoing human and economic toll of the virus. President Donald Trump has previously attributed high number of cases in the U.S. to expanded testing, but data shows testing alone cannot explain the high number of cases. As economic worries mounted over stalled stimulus negotiations in Washington, Trump sought to act unilaterally by signing executive orders on unemployment benefits and other measures to prop up the economy.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Florida, ravaged by a historic spike in COVID-19 cases for weeks, is showing signs of progress in statistics such as hospitalizations and positivity rates, according to its governor.
  • After only one week of school, more than 250 students and teachers from one Georgia school district will be quarantined for two weeks after several teachers and students tested positive for COVID-19, according to the district’s website.
  • The Mid-American Conference became the first major college football conference to cancel its fall season.

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