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coronavirus outbreak

U.S. hits 50,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths, outpacing expert predictions

The United States crossed a grim threshold on Friday, when it officially recorded its 50,000th death attributed to the novel coronavirus. The U.S. now accounts for almost a third of the confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide, and more than a quarter of the deaths, according to numbers kept by Johns Hopkins. Many experts believe the toll of the disease in the U.S. is being underreported, due to insufficient testing and excess mortalities.

California recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic yet this week, when 115 died in the state on Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reports. New York City alone has seen over 15,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the outbreak began. In other regions of the country, local leadership has made moves to roll back pandemic restrictions; on Friday, Georgia began efforts to "reopen," despite strong discouragement from the White House.

America's confirmed coronavirus deaths have now outpaced predictions by experts, who estimated last week that 47,000 would be dead by May 1, a number the country instead hit on Wednesday, April 22. "[J]ust a few days from now," writes The New Yorker, "more Americans will have died from COVID-19 than the entire toll from the Vietnam War." The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., contains 58,320 names.