US moves past Italy for most confirmed coronavirus deaths; fatalities top 20K

US moves past Italy for most confirmed coronavirus deaths; fatalities top 20K
The United States now has the most confirmed coronavirus deaths in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. (BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)

The United States took over the lead in confirmed coronavirus deaths worldwide, passing Italy in figures released Saturday morning by Johns Hopkins University.

The sobering figures released by the university noted the United States now had at least 20,000 confirmed deaths from COVID-19. Italy is reporting 18,849 deaths. Italy, with a smaller population, has still lost more people per capita, The Washington Post reported. That is approximately 31 of every 100,000 people, the newspaper reported. In the United States, the number of deaths per 100,000 people was six, according to The New York Times.

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About half of the deaths in the United States were in the New York metropolitan area, according to The Associated Press. In a news conference Saturday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said there were 783 deaths statewide from the coronavirus.

In Chicago, the police department announced that 237 members had tested positive for COVID-19.

Saturday’s figures came after Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said he hoped for “a real degree of normality” by November, the Post reported.

Other countries were already planning steps to ease out of shutdowns, but officials urged caution, particularly since the weather in Europe was pleasant.

“Don’t do silly things,” Domenico Arcuri, Italy’s special commissioner for the virus emergency, told the AP. “Don’t go out, continue to behave responsibly as you have done until today, use your head and your sense of responsibility.