The U.S. reached a grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic Wednesday, with the number of deaths passing 100,000, a threshold reached in under four months. The number of confirmed cases there have been as of last night was nearly 1.7 million, according to Johns Hopkins University's count. Worldwide, the coronavirus has killed more than 350,000 people and there have been more than 5.6 million cases, with the U.S. having the most confirmed cases by far. In a tweet Tuesday, the day before the country reached the 100,000 toll,President Trump said, "For all of the political hacks out there, if I hadn’t done my job well, & early, we would have lost 1 1/2 to 2 Million People, as opposed to the 100,000 plus that looks like will be the number." Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden released a video yesterday in which he sought to offer comfort to those who'd lost a loved one, saying, "this nation grieves with you." The former vice president also said the sad milestone is one, quote, "we should have never reached -- that could have been avoided."
Studies Suggest More Asymptomatic Than Thought:Two new studies out yesterday suggest that the number of people who have the coronavirus and are asymptomatic may be a lot higher than thought. The first study found that 42 percent of cases from a group of 78 people in Wuhan, China, who tested positive were asymptomatic. They were more likely to be younger, in their 20s, 30s and early 40s, and to be women. The second study found that 81 percent of people on cruise to Antarctica who tested positive were asymptomatic. There were 217 people on board and 59 percent tested positive. Asymptomatic spread is a main reason everyone is being encouraged to wear a face mask. However, in some good news from the Wuhan study, it indicated people who are asymptomatic may not be infectious for as long. The asymptomatic patients shed the virus for about eight days, compared to 19 days among those who had symptoms.
Washington, D.C., to Start Reopening:Washington, D.C.,Mayor Muriel Bowser said Wednesday that the nation's capital will begin to gradually reopen on Friday. Restaurants will be allowed to have outdoor seating, barbers and hair salons will be able to open with limited capacity, and nonessential businesses will be allowed to offer curbside or front-door pickup. Gatherings will be allowed of up to 10 people. The start of reopening comes as the District of Columbia ranked first in the country over the past two weeks for new cases per capita. Bowser said the easing of the restrictions could be, quote, "turned up or turned down" based on new developments.