The United States reached a sobering milestone on Wednesday evening, as the total number of individuals who have died as a result of contracting coronavirus surpassed one thousand.
The official tally of cases diagnosed in the U.S. was nearly 70,000 as of 11:30 p.m. Eastern Time, according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. At that time, 1,041 Americans had been counted as dying from the disease.
Wednesday was the deadliest day on record so far in the U.S. in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 220 individuals were counted as having perished, an increase of about 36 percent from the previous day’s numbers, according to reporting from CNN.
Wednesday was also the highest increase of coronavirus cases being identified in the nation so far, with more than 12,000 diagnoses being made.
The milestone came on the same evening that the U.S. Senate passed a $2 trillion relief bill intended to help American workers and businesses across the country to deal with the economic fallout from the disease. The bill provides $1,200 for every American adult in the nation (earning up to $75,000 per year), plus $500 for every family per child.
Assuming that the House passes the bill as well, which is expected, it will be the largest spending package ever to be passed by Congress. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill into law.
BREAKING: As the Senate debated a $2 trillion coronavirus relief deal, Johns Hopkins data just in shows the death toll surpassed 1,000 and the number of U.S. cases rose in a single day by 12,000https://t.co/H8OWoXoWIC
— Axios (@axios) March 26, 2020
Across the world, nearly half a million have been diagnosed with coronavirus. Around 21,000 have died from the disease so far, and 114,000 have reportedly recovered at this point.
It’s expected that within the next few days, the U.S. will see a sharp increase in the number of diagnosed, as well as the number of deaths as a result of coronavirus. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams commented on Monday about how much worse it will likely become.
“I want America to understand, this week, it’s going to get bad,” Adams said.
It’s been 26 days since President Donald Trump, responding to criticisms from Democrats and the media over his not taking seriously the gravity of the disease, called the situation a “hoax.” Two days prior to those comments, Trump also predicted that the number of coronavirus cases, within a matter of days, were “going to be down to close to zero.”