U.S. passes Italy, China as nation with the most confirmed cases of COVID-19
This content is being provided for free as a public service to our readers during the coronavirus outbreak. Sign up for our daily or breaking newsletters to stay informed. If local news is important to you, consider becoming a digital subscriber to The Oklahoman.Related content
The U.S. surged past China and Italy to become the planet's most infected nation Thursday, a stark milestone in the coronavirus era - and a reminder of its deadly, culture-changing effects on American life.
The Johns Hopkins University dash board showed the U.S. with 82,404 COVID-19 infections as of 6 p.m., ET, moving past Italy (80,589) and China (81,782). More than 1,100 people have died in the U.S.
Part of the reason for the nation's top ranking is cause and effect: The U.S. has drastically ramped up its testing protocols in order to identify infected people and those who may be carriers of the virus. As testing has increased, so has the number of confirmed cases.
Everyday people have been taking the brunt of the virus, both in terms of its deadliness and its effect on their ability to provide for their families. Many are reading headlines that would have been unthinkable just a month ago.
Dann Dykas, 37, of Portland, Oregon, was laid off from his job helping design and set up displays for trade shows.
“Everything is so surreal,” he said. “I can’t even get an interview for another job, and we now have to worry more about being careful and taking care of ourselves.”
But the statistical ranking as #1 has important implications for a nation that has already been rattled to its core. The number of Americans filing initial applications for unemployment benefits jumped nearly twelvefold to a record 3.3 million, the Labor Department said, offering the most vivid evidence yet of the coronavirus’s widespread damage to the economy.
The pandemic has set off the most abrupt near-shutdown of the economy in history. Many restaurants, shops, movie theaters, sports arenas and other gathering spots were compelled to close their doors or scale back service – and lay off staff.
- Related to this story
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Last week's record high for unemployment claims already eclipsed through three days this week
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: State ramping up to process 2,000 tests per day, Stitt says
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Early census participation lacking
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: 'I would hate to be in a shelter with this going on'
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Grocers working outside their normal aisles
- Article: OU football: Lincoln Riley calls for level playing field for Power 5 programs during coronavirus pandemic
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Seven more Norman nursing home residents test positive
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Roughly 200 people at Capitol tested
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Those serving Oklahoma City's homeless must "adapt everything" to deal with virus
- Article: OKC Central Chat recap: OKC Mayor David Holt addresses coronavirus-related concerns
- Article: Governor's office clarifies executive order to include abortions
- Article: Confirmed COVID-19 cases up to 322 in Oklahoma
- Article: Retailers get innovative to move food products
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Fairgrounds testing site only for high-risk people with physician referral
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Groups call on Stitt to implement recommendations to keep Oklahoma inmates, correctional staff safe
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: NorthCare ready to expand mental health services during pandemic
- Article: OKC Civic Life Journal: Gun shops open as coronavirus business activity limits take hold
- Article: OKC schools planning lesson packets at meal sites, virtual learning
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Edmond temporarily adjusting Citylink routes
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Oklahoma City Council to vote on small-business relief proposal
- Article: OKC schools serve 82,000 meals in 1st week of closures
- Article: Oklahomans in U.S. House praise $2 trillion relief bill
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: State Supreme Court orders closure of county courthouses to the public
- Article: Integris Health discusses effectiveness of masks during coronavirus pandemic
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: State health agencies no longer need approval before hiring additional employees
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Roughly 130,000 Oklahomans who owe child support may not see their federal stimulus checks
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Power needs decline, flatten across the nation as people adjust to working remotely
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Oklahoma banks disburse billions through Paycheck Protection Program
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Stitt sees light at the end of the tunnel
- Article: Snitches or saints? Oklahomans, like other Americans, reporting coronavirus lockdown violations, posting photos
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Arnall Family Foundation dedicates $200,000 to new grant program amid COVID-19
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Youth baseball leagues in limbo during epidemic
- Article: Error from Stitt's office leads to inaccurate count of prisoners to be released
- Article: Record 22 million have sought US jobless aid since virus
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: 2,357 confirmed cases, 131 deaths
- Article: Be a light in the darkness
- Article: Watch replay: Gov. Stitt press conference
- Article: Confirmed COVID-19 cases up to 2,465 in Oklahoma
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Stitt says some businesses may open in early May
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: OKC mayor discuss plan for moving forward
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Assessor 'must wait and see' virus effects on property values
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: 'Our job is to serve those who serve Oklahomans'
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Mayor says public health advisory group to analyze proposed standards for lifting restrictions
- Article: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Norman seeks input on plan to reopen
- Video: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Is it safe to donate blood?
The coronavirus is also taking a growing toll on the U.S. military, and commanders and senior officials are bracing for worse. From nuclear missile fields at home to war zones abroad, from flight lines to ships at sea, the Pentagon is striving to shield vital missions even as it faces urgent calls for help on the civilian front.
One hundred people in New York state died Wednesday from the coronavirus, the state's single deadliest day since the virus at the center of a global pandemic first hit, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said. The surge of deaths pushed New York's total count to 385 since the beginning of March, when the state found its first confirmed case of COVID-19.
New York remains the epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak with 37,258 confirmed cases – almost half of the national total as of Thursday afternoon. Cuomo said the outbreak's peak in the state is still at least two weeks away, and the state was battling to make room in hospitals and obtain ventilators.
"I don’t want to sugarcoat the situation," Cuomo said. "The situation is not easy. But easy times don’t forge character. It’s the tough times that forge character.”
The recent death toll includes a health care worker at one of the New York City hospitals under siege by the coronavirus has died, according to coworkers and his sister. Kious Kelly, an assistant nurse manager at the Mount Sinai West hospital in Manhattan, died Tuesday from the virus after he got sick two weeks ago, multiple friends said in social media posts.
Kelly’s sister, Marya Sherron, told the New York Post that her brother had informed her of his illness about 10 days earlier.
“He told me he had the coronavirus,” she said. “He was in ICU but he thought he was OK. He didn’t think it was serious as it was.”
Contributing: USA TODAY reporters Paul Davidson, Jorge Ortiz, Grace Hauck, Joseph Spector.