There were more than 300,000 individuals who had recovered from COVID-19 in the United States as of May 22, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center.
The news of the recoveries came as cases and deaths in the U.S. continued increase, with 1.6 million confirmed cases and more than 95,000 deaths from COVID-19 as of May 22. Across the world, there were more than 5 million confirmed cases and more than 300,000 deaths. More than 2 million people had recovered from the novel coronavirus.
It comes at a time when cities and states across the U.S. are reopening areas and parts of their economies, even against the warnings of public health officials such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, who have reiterated that another wave of COVID-19 will likely come in the fall.
The 300,000 recoveries mark also comes days after the World Health Organization reported the single highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases across the world, a signal that the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. And with record unemployment numbers and fears of a lasting recession still looming, the economic fallout of COVID-19 continues to be immense.
The United States continues to lead the world in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths as the country grapples with a virus that, months into the global pandemic, does not seem to be nearly under control.
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Even into May, the U.S. at large still faces struggles with its COVID-19 testing capabilities. Rapid, widespread testing is considered essential to tracking and containing the coronavirus. But 41 of the nation's 50 states fail to test widely enough to drive their infections below a key benchmark, according to an AP analysis of metrics developed by Harvard’s Global Health Institute.
The majority of individuals who have contracted the novel coronavirus have recovered, although the death and recovery counts in major hotspots are disproportionate compared to that overall recovery trend. In New York, for example, Johns Hopkins reported just over 28,000 COVID-19 deaths and over 62,000 recoveries.
And since one can only be confirmed to have died from COVID-19 if they have tested positive, it is likely there are more COVID-19 deaths than what is being officially reported, according to health experts.
Moderna, a biotech firm behind one of the candidates for a potential COVID-19 vaccine, released what appeared to be promising initial early trial results, although skepticism quickly arose from those in the science community over the lack of data provided by the company.
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Drug companies are racing into the trial phase in the process of development and distribution of a vaccine, and some health and government officials have indicated optimistic projections that a COVID-19 vaccine could be widely available in 12 to 18 months.
As for current treatment options, the antiviral drug Remdesivir was approved by the Food and Drug Administration earlier this month in emergency use settings, with studies showing that patients were responding to treatment.
Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, unproven treatment options frequently touted by President Donald Trump — and one that Trump even admitted he was taking himself to ward off potential COVID-19 symptoms -- have fallen under scrutiny, with a recent study noting how the antimalarial drug is linked to a higher risk of death in patients with COVID-19, the Washington Post reported.
While anyone can contract the novel coronavirus, individuals of an older age are more susceptible to developing serious health conditions from COVID-19 that can lead to death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that “current data suggest a disproportionate burden of illness and death among racial and ethnic minority groups.”