Coronavirus cases surpass 6M in the US

John Hopkins University has been collecting data on the coronavirus

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The novel coronavirus has reached a grim milestone as the U.S. has reached more than 6M confirmed cases.

Data from John Hopkins University confirmed the figure on Monday in addition to 21K deaths just in the past three weeks. These numbers continue the trend of the United States outpacing other countries with the outbreak, accounting for 24% of the infected cases worldwide. Currently, there are 25M people globally who have been left sick by COVID-19 but the U.S. only makes up 4% of the world’s population.

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Teamsters Local 848 truck driver Carlos Gonzalez sits to be tested for COVID-19 at a testing site provided by the International Brotherhood of Teamsters on July 16, 2020 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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However, some experts have declared that there has been some progress since the pandemic first became a threat seven months ago.

“As a nation, we are clearly doing better now on the last day of August than we were on the first day of August,” Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told CNN.

“(Daily) cases have come down. Deaths are starting to decline. Hospitalizations are down. This is good news, and it’s largely because of smart policies in Texas and Arizona and Florida around masking and closing bars.”

Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus task force coordinator, encouraged people to keep wearing protective face masks and to practice social distancing. She urged personal responsibility to keep others safe and to prevent the economy from crashing.

“We know we can’t always be perfect. We know that we’ll put this message out about private gatherings and something will happen and you’ll realize you have been in a situation, you’ve been around people, you didn’t have your mask on,” Birx said.

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A nurse holds a nasal swab after testing a patient for coronavirus at a COVID19 testing center on July 7, 2020 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Sergio Flores/Getty Images)

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“That is the time to make sure you’re protecting others in your household and around you by wearing a mask when you’re around them, even if they’re family.”

The staggering number of coronavirus cases and deaths reaching this marker comes as there is discussion of a potential vaccine being available without following all the proper protocols.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn recently stated that he wanted to bypass Phase 3 trials of a potential vaccine and authorize it which has led to concerns that accuracy and effectiveness are being sacrificed for speed.

“The problem is both with hydroxychloroquine and with the convalescent plasma, we saw a real politicization of that scientific debate in a way that I think has all of us concerned,” Jha said.

“So what I’d like is for the science to drive this decision, for it to be very transparent, and for political leaders to not get involved in deciding when a medicine or a vaccine is safe or not.”

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