Crossing the 300,000 mark in global deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday served as another grim reminder of the enormous damage inflicted by the virus, with the U.S. right in the middle of the pandemic.
No country approaches even half the 85,000-plus lives the U.S. has lost. That figure represents about 28% of the world’s total even though the American population makes up only 4.3% of the global amount.
Next on the death toll list is Great Britain with more than 33,000. The UK population of 67 million is about 20% of the U.S.’s 330 million, so the British rate of fatalities is considerably higher than America’s.
– The Jersey shore, ‘where memories are made,’ to open Memorial Day weekend
New Jersey’s beaches can reopen by Memorial Day weekend but with rules in place that will require beachgoers to spread out their umbrellas and chairs more than usual. Gov. Phil Murphy said towns that open their beaches, boardwalks and lakefronts must comply with social distancing measures and limit capacity. More than 15,000 coronavirus deaths have been reported in New Jersey so far, the second-highest total behind New York.
“The Jersey Shore after all is where memories are made,” Murphy said. “The last thing any of us wanted was a summertime down the shore to be a memory.”
– Whistleblower warns of ‘darkest winter in modern history’
An immunologist who says he was unfairly ousted from the Department of Health and Human Services said Thursday that if the U.S. does not develop a plan to address a second wave of the virus, the country will experience the “darkest winter in modern history.”
Rick Bright, who was removed last month from his position as the director of HHS’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee that the nation might be rushing too quickly on a vaccine before a full assessment is made of its effectiveness and safety. A 12-to-18-month schedule to develop one would require everything to go perfectly, he said.
“We’ve never seen anything go perfectly,” he added.