US coronavirus death toll crosses 100,000 in harrowing milestone

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The U.S. reached yet another harrowing milestone on Wednesday as the coronavirus death toll topped 100,000. Globally, COVID-19 has been linked to over 353,000 fatalities and over 5.6 million cases, according to the Johns Hopkins University heat map.

On Wednesday evening, the Johns Hopkins tally showed 100,047 U.S. coronavirus deaths. The United States has seen more coronavirus deaths than any other country, according to the data -- although analysts and critics frequently have questioned the numbers of cases and deaths reported in other countries.

As virus-related deaths continue to rise, the U.S. saw just 500 new deaths Monday, its lowest daily total since March 28, and 693 more on Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of confirmed infections has reached over 1.66 million.

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New York, the hardest-hit state, has seen more than 363,000 coronavirus cases and over 23,000 deaths, according to recent estimates, followed by New Jersey, with reports of over 155,000 cases and over 11,100 deaths.

The news comes as the majority of states begin reopening their economies to a number of businesses.

States across the country have begun easing restrictions on businesses and home quarantines meant to curb the spread of the virus. These states have said data shows they have “flattened the curve” of infections enough to phase in their economies under new health guidelines and restrictions.

Countries in Europe and Asia have also begun lifting restrictions that brought daily life to an effective halt for almost two months in some parts as a critical tradeoff to protect citizens. More than 2.3 million have recovered from the virus.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Sunday warned that the world is still in the midst of a “first wave” of the pandemic.

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“Right now, we're not in the second wave. We're right in the middle of the first wave globally," said Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of WHO.

“We're still very much in a phase where the disease is actually on the way up,” Ryan told reporters, pointing to South America, South Asia, and other areas where infections are still on the rise.

India saw a record single-day jump in new cases for the eighth straight day. It reported 6,387 new infections Wednesday, raising its total to 151,876, including 4,346 deaths.

Brazil has 375,000 coronavirus infections — second only to the 1.6 million cases in the U.S. — and has counted over 23,000 deaths. Many fear Brazil's true toll is much higher.

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Worldwide, the virus has infected over 5.6 million people, killing over 350,000, according to Johns Hopkins University. Europe has had about 170,000 deaths.

Fox News' Danielle Wallace and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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