The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus is expected to reach 100,000 in a few days. To mark the solemn landmark, the front page of the print version of the Sunday New York Times is a simple list of names of dead victims of the disease and brief personal details about them scoured from media around the country.
Sunday’s headline is “U.S. Deaths Near 100,000, An incalculable Loss.”
The U.S. death toll early Sunday was more than 97,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The global total of COVID-19 infections has risen to more than 5.3 million, according to Johns Hopkins University, with more than 342,000 deaths.
China, the country where the coronavirus outbreak began, reported no new infections Saturday, the first time since it started reporting cases in January.
The pandemic has countries struggling to keep people safe while simultaneously reopening their economies, and has disrupted collective celebrations by Muslims throughout the world observing the end of Ramadan, as well as the Memorial Day holiday weekend in the U.S., when millions traditionally head to beaches and national parks.
The U.S. continues to be the epicenter of the contagion with 1.6 million cases, nearly one-third of all cases worldwide.
Brazil comes in second with more than 347,000 infections, followed by Russia with almost 336,000 cases.
“In a sense South America has become the new epicenter of the disease,” said Michael Ryan, director of the WHO emergency program. “The most affected is clearly Brazil at this point,” he added.
Brazil’s Health Secretary Wanderson de Oliveira announced Sunday that he would resign the following day. De Oliveira attempted to resign last month but stayed on at the request of then-health minister Luiz Mandetta, who was shortly thereafter fired by Brazil’s president.
The country’s Health Ministry has been at odds with President Jair Bolsanaro, who has rejected recommendations by health experts in favor of protecting the economy.
Brazil and Mexico reported record numbers of cases and fatalities almost every day this week, reinforcing criticism that their presidents failed to impose more stringent lockdowns measures.
However, in Chile, Ecuador and Peru, which put in place early and aggressive containment measures, infections also continued to climb, overwhelming intensive care units in those countries.
Beaches are beginning to open in a few places to domestic tourists in Europe. On Sunday, beaches at La Grande Motte in southern France opened with a two-day wait list, but parks in Paris remained closed.
Germans will be allowed to visit the Baltic Sea coast beginning Monday.
A few dozen people gathered in St. Peter’s Square in the Vatican on Sunday to receive the traditional blessing for the first time in nearly three months.
The pope has been delivering a virtual message streamed on the internet from his library for the past few months, moving on to bless an empty square.
European Union countries are planning to reopen their borders especially to migrant workers in the coming weeks, though it is unclear when they may allow intercontinental travel.
Source: Voice of America