U.S. surpasses China for country with most coronavirus cases, global cases top 525,000

Published 5:11 pm Thursday, March 26, 2020

The number of people around the world who have contracted coronavirus has surged past 526,000, based on a count kept by Johns Hopkins University, and the U.S. is now the country with the most positive cases of the virus.

With the U.S. case total at 82,404, America surpassed China and Italy for the country with the most confirmed cases. The U.S. had, as of Thursday afternoon, 82,404.

That comes as U.S. deaths from the pandemic have now topped 1,000, in another grim milestone for a global outbreak that is taking lives and wreaking havoc on economies and established routines of life. Worldwide, the death toll climbed past 23,000, according to Johns Hopkins’ running count.

Nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week — almost five times the previous record set in 1982 — amid a widespread shutdown caused by the virus. The surge in weekly applications is a stunning reflection of the damage the viral outbreak is inflicting on the economy. Layoffs are sure to accelerate as the U.S. economy sinks into a recession with revenue collapsing at restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, gyms and airlines.

Spanish and Italian medical workers are at breaking point as the virus wages a bitter war of attrition against health care workers around the world. Italy reported thousands of new coronavirus infections, pushing the total to 80,589 cases, almost as many as China at 81,782.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.