United States passes 1 million virus cases as states plan to reopen
Updated: May 22, 2020
The United States now has more than 1 million confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, and more than 63,000 Americans have died from the virus. In New York, the most effected state, there are now more than 300,000 confirmed cases with more than 23,000 deaths so far.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of President Trump's top infectious disease advisors, said that the different trajectories varying states are on make it impossible to use a one-size-fits-all solution to address the pandemic.
“We have to realize that we're a large country that has outbreaks in different regions, different states, different cities, that have different dynamics, and different phases in which they are in,” Fauci said.
In an effort to mitigate the virus’ spread, state and local authorities throughout the country have moved to limit large gatherings, close non-essential businesses and ordered residents to stay in their homes, triggering a near-total national shutdown.
The American people have been questioning when the shutdowns will end now that they have accomplished their original goal of "flattening the curve," meaning freeing up medical supplies and hospital space such that the healthcare system is not overwhelmed by an uptick in new cases.
The White House announced a three-phase plan for states to follow in order to reopen their economies last month, and many states are beginning or have already begun implementing "phase one" of that plan.
Several antibody studies have shown that the virus may be more prevalent in the population than previously thought, which would indicate that the virus is not as deadly as previous data would suggest. Those studies, along with a plateauing or declining number of new cases per day, has given states an incentive to begin to relax restrictions on social distancing and stay-at-home orders.
At least 10 states eased restrictions on Friday, and several more will decline to extend their emergency measures to demand citizens stay in their homes in the coming days.