The world hit a somber milestone Tuesday as the global death toll from COVID-19 has now topped one million, according to Johns Hopkins University.
America has the most reported deaths – nearly 206,000 – and the most reported cases with more than 7 million people infected.
President Trump announced Monday that the government will begin distributing 150 million rapid coronavirus tests this week.
Of that number, 50 million will go to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and hospice care. Historically black colleges and universities are among the other institutions receiving the test kits.
Trump explained the testing strategy during a briefing.
“One hundred million rapid point of care tests will be given to states and territories to support efforts to reopen their economies and schools immediately and fast as they can,” he said.
The briefing begins at the 41:30 mark in the video.
The new initiative will increase public testing in some of the hardest-hit communities.
Admiral Brett Giroir, the assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, said, “It really could not be easier than this, this is a very sophisticated piece of cardboard. We’re announcing our plan to distribute 150 million rapid point of care tests. This is going to double the amount of tests performed.”
And with flu season approaching, many are concerned that there will be a second wave of COVID cases.
Meanwhile, 33 states are seeing an increase in new cases.
A recent surge was reported in Brooklyn and Queens, New York, so health officials there are considering a lockdown in some neighborhoods.
And the return of students to college campuses has triggered some new outbreaks.
Despite the death toll reaching one million, that number is likely an undercount because some countries don’t have the same transparency or levels of testing that the US does.
Lawrence Gostin, a professor of global health law at Georgetown University, insists that the full magnitude of the virus is still ahead.
“We’re only at the beginning of this. We’re going to see many more weeks ahead of this pandemic than we’ve had behind us,” Gostin said.