The death toll in the US from the novel coronavirus surpassed the 100,000 mark Wednesday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The United States now has more than 100,000 deaths from COVID-19, a toll larger than the number of U.S. deaths in the Vietnam and Korean wars combined.
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As the country passed the threshold, a bipartisan group of senators renewed their call for a moment of silence to be held Monday to honor the dead.
“The nation must mark this dark moment with unity and clarity,” said Sen. Brian Schatz of Hawaii. “At this time of almost unimaginable pain, it is essential that we pause to honor every life lost, and that we grieve together.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated our nation,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. “Far too many families have seen their loved ones suffer. Due to strict isolation measures, most who have lost someone to the disease have been robbed of their final farewell at the hospital. Many have also been unable to have proper memorials to honor the people they have lost.”
A separate proposal in the House of Representatives calls for a daily moment of silence whenever the House is in session, as well as a national day of mourning after the pandemic ends and the establishment of a national memorial for the victims.
The United States had seen some improvement in its daily death tolls, but that progress took a sharp step back Wednesday with 1,400 new deaths reported.
Worldwide, more than 355,000 people have died from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University statistics. There are about 5.7 million confirmed cases, with almost 30 percent in the United States.
South Korea reported 79 new cases Thursday as it continues to work to prevent a more widespread resurgence of the virus. With most of the new cases located in the Seoul area, Health Minister Park Neung-hoo urged people to avoid unnecessary gatherings and for companies to keep sick workers at home.
There is also a concern in many countries in Latin America, where the World Food Program says the pandemic could leave 14 million people hungry.
“We are entering a very complicated stage,” said Miguel Barreto, the WFP’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “It is what we are calling a hunger pandemic.”
Brazil has been the hardest-hit country in the region, with its 411,000 cases trailing only the United States. Peru has also seen a sharp rise in cases, including reporting Wednesday a record daily rise of 6,154 new cases.
India reported a similar jump Thursday with 6,566 new cases, a record for the country that now ranks 10th in the world in confirmed cases.