- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The United States has surpassed the 3 million mark in coronavirus cases among its more than 300 million residents, Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday.

“At this point, we have tested more than 39 million Americans. Among those, more than 3 million Americans have tested positive and more than 1.3 million Americans have recovered,” Mr. Pence said after a White House coronavirus task force meeting.

Despite a recent surge of cases in some states, Mr. Pence said there are recent indications that the percentage of positive testing is flattening in newer hot spots such as Arizona, Texas and Florida.

“We flattened the curve before,” the vice president said. “We slowed the spread and we can do it again but we’ve got to all do our part.”

Dr. Deborah Birx, the U.S. coronavirus response coordinator, said it’s vital for Americans in hard-hit states and areas to take precautions such as wearing face coverings and avoiding bars and indoor dining.

Dr. Birx also said people really shouldn’t be gathering in homes, either, and advocated for “decreasing those gatherings back down to our baseline recommendation which was 10 [people] or less.”

There have been more than 131,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. The case and death numbers are easily the most among the official tallies of countries in the world.

Though many countries in Europe and Asia have relaxed their coronavirus-related lockdowns as conditions improved elsewhere in recent months, the virus is continuing to rage across the South and West in the U.S.

The United States saw more than 60,000 new cases Tuesday — a new single-day record since the pandemic first took hold earlier this year.

Joseph R. Biden, Mr. Trump’s likely Democratic opponent in this year’s presidential election, said the 3 million case milestone is a product of Mr. Trump’s failed leadership.

“While other countries safely reopen their economies and their citizens get back to work, businesses in America are being forced to shut down — again — as Donald Trump’s failures make countless workers and families face an uncertain future,” Mr. Biden said Wednesday.

The virus, first discovered in Wuhan, China, late last year, has spread to infect more than 11.8 million people around the globe and has led to more than 540,000 deaths worldwide.

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