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Medical personnel wearing personal protective equipment work in the COVID-19 medical screening annex at NYC Health + Hospitals Metropolitan, Wednesday, May 27, 2020, in New York. New York hospitals can now allow visitors at their discretion, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday. Hospitals must follow state guidelines, which include time-limits on visits and requiring visitors to wear protective gear. Visitors also will be subject to symptom and temperature checks. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) (AP)
Medical personnel wearing personal protective equipment work in the COVID-19 medical screening annex at NYC Health + Hospitals Metropolitan, Wednesday, May 27, 2020, in New York. New York hospitals can now allow visitors at their discretion, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday. Hospitals must follow state guidelines, which include time-limits on visits and requiring visitors to wear protective gear. Visitors also will be subject to symptom and temperature checks. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) (AP)

US sets record as coronavirus cases top 5 million

  • US has recorded more than 160,000 deaths, nearly a quarter of the world's total
  • With one out of every 66 residents infected, the United States leads the world in COVID-19 cases

The United States set a record for coronavirus cases on Saturday, with more than 5 million people now infected, according to a Reuters tally, as the country's top infectious diseases official offered hope earlier this week that an effective vaccine might be available by year-end.

With one out of every 66 residents infected, the United States leads the world in COVID-19 cases, according to a Reuters analysis. The country has recorded more than 160,000 deaths, nearly a quarter of the world's total.

The grim milestone comes as President Donald Trump signed executive orders intended to provide economic relief to Americans hurt by the coronavirus pandemic after the White House failed to reach a deal with Congress.

On Friday, the U.S. Labor Department reported that U.S. employment growth slowed considerably in July, underscoring an urgent need for additional government aid.

Dr. Anthony Fauci told Reuters on Wednesday there could be at least one vaccine that works and is safe by year-end. But Trump offered a more optimistic view, saying it was possible the United States would have a coronavirus vaccine by the time of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

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