More than 15 million people have COVID-19 around the world, according to Johns Hopkins

More than 15 million people have COVID-19 across the world and over 3.9 million have been infected with the novel coronavirus in the United States alone, according to the most recent data available from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.

As of July 22, there were more than 142,000 COVID-19 deaths in the United States and over 617,000 deaths across the world, according to Johns Hopkins data.

The past few weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic have seen states and countries struggling to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, with some states and nations leapfrogging one another to garner unwanted high case counts.

New York, once cited as the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States, was surpassed on Wednesday by California in its total number of COVID-19 cases. 

John’s Hopkins University data showed Wednesday that California had over 409,000 cases — about 1,200 more cases than New York, according to the Associated Press.

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But focusing on total case numbers alone only illuminates a small part of the pandemic’s spread and severity: New York’s total death count, higher than 72,000, still trumps that of California’s, at just over 7,800.

And there’s only so much that reported numbers on confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths can reveal. According to CDC data released this week, the number of reported cases in the U.S. vastly underestimates the true number of infections — thought to be likely 10 times higher in many regions.

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Florida, too, has been cited as a possible new epicenter of the pandemic, with its Miami-Dade County experiencing serious shortfalls in ICU capacity amid a staggering rise in confirmed cases. The jump in numbers comes weeks after the state reopened, with Florida reporting record-setting, exponentially higher new daily COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

Wednesday’s new case number of 9,785 represents the 50th straight day with new cases near or over 1,000 per day in Florida. The rate of positive new tests has increased during that time period. The positivity rate was at 10.55% on Tuesday, the most recent date available.

As the number of new cases has trended up over the last few weeks in the state, the number of deaths has also begun to reflect the same upward trend — though "significant delays" in data reporting, as the state says, make interpreting short-term trends from that statistic less reliable.

As the summer heat continues to rise across the United States, arid states like Arizona and Texas are experiencing rapid climbs in their COVID-19 case counts. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports over 332,000 confirmed cases in Texas and over 145,000 in Arizona as of July 22.

With over 3.9 million cases, the United States trounces the COVID-19 counts of Brazil (2.1M+ cases) and India, which crossed the 1 million case milestone last week. 

The United Kingdom has the most COVID-19 cases out of any country in Europe, but even as Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the country would be back to normal by Christmas, a scientist warned that COVID-19 would be around for decades to come. 

In the U.S., Dr. Anthony Fauci delivered comments on Wednesday in line with those of the U.K. scientist, saying that he doesn’t believe that the virus will be eradicated.

Coinciding with the rising case counts, there have been developments on the vaccine front, with Moderna reporting that 45 out of 45 patients in an initial trial all developed antibodies from their vaccine. On Monday, the Associated Press reported that an experimental coronavirus vaccine from Oxford University has been shown in an early trial to prompt a protective immune response in hundreds of people who got the shot.

On Wednesday, it was reported that the United States secured 100 million doses of the experimental vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech. A day earlier, executives at top pharmaceutical companies clarified in a congressional hearing whether they intended to reap profit off of their vaccines. 

“We will not sell it at cost,” said Dr. Stephen Hoge, president of Moderna, which was granted $483 million from the U.S. government to develop a vaccine. An executive for Merck, another company developing a vaccine, said that the company would not be selling their vaccine at cost.

Executives from Johnson & Johnson and the British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca promised lawmakers that they would not seek to profit from their vaccines. 

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As of July 22, there were still over 140 vaccine candidates not yet in human trials, with four in large-scale efficacy tests and 13 in expanded safety trials, according to the New York Times.

Austin Williams, Kelly Taylor Hayes, FOX 13 Tampa Bay and the Associated Press contributed to this report.