U.S. COVID-19 deaths exceed 180,000, cases continue to fall
By Lisa Shumaker (Reuters) - U.S. deaths from the novel coronavirus topped 180,000 on Thursday after a surge of new cases in June and July, particularly in hotspots like California, Florida, and Texas
COVID-19 deaths exceed 180,000, cases continue to fall" src="https://images.firstpost.com/wp-content/uploads/reuters/08-2020/28/2020-08-27T153311Z_1_LYNXMPEG7Q1EE_RTROPTP_2_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-USA.jpg" alt="US COVID19 deaths exceed 180000 cases continue to fall" width="300" height="225" />
By Lisa Shumaker
(Reuters) - U.S. deaths from the novel coronavirus topped 180,000 on Thursday after a surge of new cases in June and July, particularly in hotspots like California, Florida, and Texas.
There are signs of an improving outlook. Last week, deaths fell 17% from the prior week and below an average of 1,000 a day for the first time in weeks, according to a Reuters analysis.
However, while U.S. metrics on cases, deaths, hospitalizations and test positivity rates are all heading downward, health experts fear there could be another surge as schools reopen and colder weather forces more gatherings indoors.
(Open https://tmsnrt.rs/2WTOZDR in an external browser for a Reuters interactive graphic)
U.S. confirmed cases are now over 5.8 million - the highest total number of cases in the world. The U.S. death toll is also the highest in the world.
On a per capita basis, the United States ranks 12th in the world for the number of deaths, with 54 deaths per 100,000 people, and tenth in the world for cases, with 1,774 cases per 100,000 residents, according to a Reuters analysis.
U.S. consumer confidence dropped to a more than six-year low in August as households worried about the labor market and incomes, casting doubts on the sustainability of the economy's recovery from the COVID-19 recession.
The ebb in confidence followed the expiration of a $600 weekly unemployment benefit supplement on July 31.
For weeks now, Republicans and Democrats have been deadlocked over the size and shape of a fifth coronavirus -response bill, on top of the approximately $3 trillion already enacted into law.
(Reporting by Lisa Shumaker, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.