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    U.S. coronavirus cases pass 4 million

    The total number of coronavirus cases reported in the United States passed 4 million on Thursday (July 23), another grim milestone that highlighted a rapid acceleration of infections in the country. A Reuters tally showed that it took the U.S. just 16 days to go from 3 million to 4 million cases. The average number of new cases in the U.S. now rising by more than 2,600 every hour, the highest rate in the world. But it’s not just cases. Hospitalizations and deaths are also increasing in the U.S. Florida and Alabama reported record one-day increases in COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, while California, Nevada and Texas all reported their highest single-day increases in deaths on Wednesday. But the daily death toll nationwide is still well below levels seen in April, when New York was the U.S. epicenter. The rise in cases has mirrored a rise in tensions between federal, state and local leaders over how to respond to the pandemic, including whether to order the wearing of face coverings, a common practice in the rest of the world that has become highly politicized in the United States. Geopolitical tensions came to head on Thursday, when the head of the World Health Organization responded to comments made by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who questioned the W.H.O. chief’s independence and accused him of being pro-China. “The comments are untrue and unacceptable and without any foundation, for that matter.” Another issue that’s become politicized in the U.S. is whether schools should fully reopen in the fall. At a coronavirus briefing at the White House on Thursday, President Donald Trump – whose poll numbers are slipping over his handling of the pandemic – said states that are currently virus hotspots may need to delay reopening schools by a “few weeks.” And in an acknowledgement of the worsening situation in Florida, Trump cancelled a large gathering in Jacksonville – part of the Republican National Convention that was scheduled for next month. Trump had already moved the event to Florida from Charlotte, North Carolina, after Governor Roy Cooper refused to guarantee Trump could hold a large event in the state, citing safety concerns.
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    World News from Reuters

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