The road to 150,000+: How the U.S. has handled the COVID-19 pandemic

150,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. 

Since the first confirmed death in late February, the country has been grappling with intense challenges in its efforts to contain pandemic.

Here's a timeline showing how the U.S has responded.

Jan 21

The CDC confirms the first "Travel-related Case" of "2019 Novel Coronavirus" identified in the United States - a patient in Washington state who had traveled to Wuhan.

Jan 22

The next day, Trump says he's not concerned. "No, we're not [worried] at all and we have it totally under control. It's one person coming from China.”

Jan 29

Trump forms the Coronavirus Task Force.

Jan 31

Trump suspends entry of travelers who were in China 14 days before arriving at U.S. ports of entry.

Feb 26

"View this the same as the flu," Trump says at a press conference. "You treat this like a flu … Because of all we've done, the risk to the American People remains very low."

Feb 29

CDC confirms first COVID-19 death in the U.S.

March 9

Trump compared the average number of deaths from flu in the U.S. each year with those from coronavirus in a tweet, saying "nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on".

March 11

WHO declares COVID-19 a pandemic, reporting 25 deaths in the U.S.

March 26

U.S. overtakes the world with "at least 81,321" confirmed cases and "more than 1,000 deaths" - based on WHO data on March 11, an increase of around 3,900% in 15 days.

April 14

Trump halts funding to the WHO.

May 20

Researchers at Columbia University release statistical model showing "54.6%" fewer COVID-19 deaths had the U.S. started control measures "just one week earlier" [March 8]. If started "two weeks earlier" [March 1], the model shows an "82.7%" reduction in deaths.

May 27

The U.S. reached a bleak milestone: Over 100,000 people have died of COVID-19 in three months.

May 31

By May 31, protests over police violence had erupted in at least 75 U.S. cities, following the May 27 death of unarmed African American, George Floyd. With his hands handcuffed behind his back, Floyd suffocated with the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his neck. U.S. public health experts express concern that the protests could cause new COVID-19 outbreaks.

June 2

USA Today analyzes mortality data and concludes that 40% of U.S. COVID-19 deaths have occurred in nursing homes or long-term care facilities.

June 8

New York state starts phase I reopening.

June 15

At least 24 U.S. public health officials have resigned or retired since January, citing death threats or harassment over lockdown orders, according to the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

June 22

Citing pandemic concerns, President Trump restricts immigration to the United States, suspending most H1-B, H2-B, and H-4 visas.

June 23

After a disappointing turnout at his Oklahoma campaign rally, President Trump holds a second rally at a church in Phoenix, Arizona. An estimated 3,000 Trump supporters pack the church - many of them Republican college students who don't wear masks.

June 24

New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut require a two-week quarantine for anyone traveling from COVID-19 'hotspots'.

June 26

More than half of U.S. states report record numbers of cases in a single day.

June 29

The United States secures the purchase of more than 500,000 doses of antiviral drug, Remdesivir, from Gilead Sciences, an Israeli biopharmaceutical company. The bulk order represents all of Gilead's production for July and 90 percent of its production in August and September.

July 3

More than 55,000 new U.S. infections in a single-day, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number is a new global record.

July 7

The U.S. formally notifies the United Nations of its withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO).

July 8

Intensive care units in hospitals across Florida and Arizona reach full capacity due to resurgence of COVID-19 cases.

July 12

President Donald Trump wears a mask in public for the first time.

July 13

California Governor Gavin Newsom orders all of the state's counties to close indoor restaurants and bars. California's two largest public school districts, Los Angeles and San Diego, announced that online classes in fall will be online only.

July 14

Moderna publishes its first peer-reviewed paper for a Phase I clinical trial of its experimental coronavirus vaccine. The paper in The New England Journal of Medicine shows the vaccine generates neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, but also causes sides effects.

July 15

Walmart, the world's largest retailer, requires customers to wear face coverings in its 5,000+ U.S. stores.

July 20

By late July, 28 of 50 U.S. states have issued mandates for citizens to wear masks in public.

July 22

The number of global coronavirus cases surges above 15 million confirmed cases. The United States remains the nation with the highest number of confirmed cases in the world.

July 28

According to Reuters, 30 of 50 U.S. states show an increase in new COVID-19 cases. Fifteen states show a rise in COVID-19 deaths for more than two weeks.

July 29

The U.S. reached another bleak milestone: Over 150,000 people have died of COVID-19.


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