Fauci: ‘If you’re vaccinated and outside, put aside your mask’

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

  • Dr. Fauci said people vaccinated against COVID-19 don’t need to wear masks outside.
  • He said Americans vaccinated against COVID-19 need to “make that transition.”
  • The CDC said last month that vaccinated people can take off their masks at small outdoor gatherings.
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Dr. Anthony Fauci said people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 don’t need to wear masks outside, backing up earlier guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CBS’ “This Morning,” “We’ve got to make that transition.”

“If you are vaccinated, you don’t have to wear a mask outside,” he added. “It would be a very unusual situation, if you were going into a completely crowded situation where people are essentially falling all over each other, then you wear a mask. But any other time, if you’re vaccinated and you’re outside, put aside your mask. You don’t have to wear it.”

The CDC updated mask-wearing guidance last month, saying people don’t need to wear masks in small outdoor gatherings. The agency did say, however, that masks should still be worn in crowds.

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Fauci says India needs other countries to ‘chip in’ to help the country curb COVID-19 spread

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Dr. Anthony Fauci.

  • Countries like the US must step up and help India deal with its surging COVID-19 cases, Dr. Anthony Fauci said.
  • In India, people are dying at alarming rates and hospitals are running out of oxygen.
  • Fauci said the country should impose a national lockdown and vaccine manufacturers need to think about how to distribute doses to India.
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Dr. Anthony Fauci is urging countries like the United States to step up and help India curb the spread of COVID-19 cases.

The situation is dire in India as the country continues to report large surges in positive cases. Crematoriums across India are overwhelmed with bodies and people are dying as hospitals run out of oxygen.

India reported 401,993 new cases last week, a record high that no other country has breached. On Saturday, the country hit another grim milestone when it reported that more than 4,000 people died from the coronavirus.

Despite the staggering numbers, experts believe the death toll numbers are likely much higher.

Fauci, in a Sunday interview with ABC News’ “This Week,” said one of the ways to curb the spread is to pressure vaccine manufacturers to distribute doses to India. Vaccine manufacturers have to figure out how to “get literally hundreds of millions of doses” to India,” he said.

About two weeks ago, President Joe Biden promised the US would send help to India in the form of “oxygen-related supplies, vaccine materials, and therapeutics.”

While that will be helpful, India will also have to deal with the issue head-on through mass vaccinations and lockdowns, Fauci said.

“The end game of this all,” he said, “is going to be to get people vaccinated.”

Fauci said mass lockdowns are also a crucial step to slowing the spread of new cases.

“I have advised them in the past that you really need to do that, you’ve got to shut down,” Fauci said. “I believe several of the Indian states have already done that. But you need to break the chain of transmission.”

There are lockdowns across several states in India, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not announced a national lockdown.

“They’ve got to get their resources, not only from within, but also from without, and that’s the reason why other countries need to chip in to be able to get either supplies for the Indians to make their own vaccines or to get vaccines donated,” Fauci said.

Vaccine manufacturers could help alleviate the situation by producing and distributing enough vaccines to roll out to the Indian population, he said.

“So there’s an immediate problem, which is hospital beds, oxygen, PPE, and other supplies, and then there’s the problem looking forward of how you’re going to shut this down, how you’re going to turn it around, how you’re going to break the chain of transmission,” Fauci added.

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Fauci said it’s ‘quite possible’ people will continue wearing masks during ‘seasonal periods’ to prevent the flu

Dr. Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, adjusts a face mask during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 18, 2021.

  • Face masks might become a “seasonal” item for Americans, Dr. Anthony Fauci said.
  • People may elect to wear them during flu season to prevent transmission.
  • The US had a relatively mild flu season this year, likely due to COVID-19 prevention measures.
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Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, predicted Sunday that face masks may become a common “seasonal” item in the fight against the seasonal flu.

Fauci, the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, made the remarks on NBC News’ “Meet the Press” when moderator Chuck Todd asked “at what point” people should “take the masks off.”

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“Is the mask going to be something we have with us in a seasonal aspect?” Todd asked.

Fauci said that was “quite possible.”

“I think people have gotten used to the fact that wearing masks, clearly, if you look at the data, diminishes respiratory diseases,” he said. “We’ve had practically a non-existent flu season this year merely because people were doing the kinds of public health things that were directed predominantly against COVID-19.”

As Insider’s Aylin Woodward previously reported, the US this year experienced an extremely mild flu season, even as experts last year feared that the seasonal flu could overwhelm healthcare systems already faced with the pandemic.

But between October 1 last year and January 30, there were just 155 hospitalizations in the US for the flu compared to 8,633 during roughly the same time frame the year prior, as Insider previously reported.

“The Australians during their winter, same thing,” Fauci said Sunday. “They had almost no flu largely due to the kinds of things including mask-wearing.

“So it is conceivable that as we go on, a year or two or more from now, that during certain seasonal periods when you have respiratory-borne viruses like the flu, people might actually elect to wear masks to diminish the likelihood that you’ll spread these respiratory-borne diseases,” he added.

Despite their effectiveness, masks have remained at the center of the longstanding partisan divides about COVID-19. At the end of April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their mask-wearing guidance, relaxing guidelines for wearing them outdoor, particularly for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

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Fauci doesn’t believe the J&J vaccine pause will increase hesitancy over the shot: It shows ‘we take safety very seriously’

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Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during a White House press briefing on January 21, 2021 in Washington.

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said he doesn’t think the Johson & Johnson vaccine pause will lead to more hesitancy.
  • The US resumed the rollout of the vaccine and regulators added a warning label about the small risk of blood clots for women under 50.
  • Fauci said the pause should show Americans that the US takes “safety very seriously.”
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Dr. Anthony Fauci on Sunday said he didn’t believe that the pause of the Johson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, which lasted for about a week, would lead to further vaccine hesitancy among Americans because it showed the US’ commitment to safety.

The US last week resumed the use of the J&J vaccine following a pause to allow regulators to examine the rare risk of blood clots associated with the shot. In resuming the rollout Friday, the FDA added a warning about the rare risk of clots in women under the age of 50.

Janet Woodcock, the acting administrator of the Food and Drug Administration, said Friday that regulators had “full confidence that this vaccine’s known and potential benefits outweigh its known and potential risks.” The CDC said states could begin using the vaccine immediately.

Read more: The CEO of UnitedHealth’s sprawling health-clinic business shared how transforming the way doctors get paid will help it notch $100 billion in revenue

Fauci on Sunday said that the pause should bolster Americans’ confidence that all of the vaccines are safe.

“I think, in the long run, what we’re going to see, and we’ll probably see it soon, is that people will realize that we take safety very seriously,” Fauci said during an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week.” “We’re out there trying to combat the degree of vaccine hesitancy that still is out there. And one of the real reasons why people have hesitancy is concern about the safety of the vaccine.”

Some people in the US, particularly Republicans, have expressed hesitancy about the COVID-19 vaccines, their effectiveness, and their safety, despite public health officials’ repeated assurances they’re safe and necessary to bring the coronavirus pandemic to an end.

A Monmouth poll conducted in April found that 43% of Republicans said they were not likely ever get one of the vaccines. In total, about 1 in 5 American adults said they were unwilling to get one of the shots, according to the poll.

Fauci noted that out of the more than 140 million people who have received at least one vaccine dose, 8 million people have received the J&J jab. According to the CDC, among those 8 million vaccinations, there are 15 known cases of clots – all in women under the age of 60. Three of the cases were fatal, the CDC last week said.

“So if anybody has any doubts about the safety of those other vaccines, and including J&J, we can now say, you know, we take this very seriously; we’ve looked at it; now let’s get back and get people vaccinated,” said Fauci, the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden.

“And that’s what we’re going to be doing, get as many people vaccinated as we possibly can, as quickly as we can, because we have a very, very effective vaccine for the people here and throughout the world,” he added.

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‘No personal liberties were taken away’: Joe Scarborough blasts Jim Jordan for spreading ‘lies’ about Fauci

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Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

  • Joe Scarborough blasted Rep. Jim Jordan for his conduct while questioning Fauci during a hearing.
  • “When do Americans get their freedom back?” Jordan aggressively asked of Fauci.
  • “It’s so personal and it is personal,” Scarborough said. “They have lied about Dr. Fauci.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

MSNBC host Joe Scarborough on Friday slammed GOP Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio for peddling “lies” about Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, during a congressional hearing on the COVID-19 pandemic.

During an episode of “Morning Joe,” Scarborough was disturbed by Jordan’s behavior, where the congressman repeatedly questioned when the country would fully reopen and said it was “obvious” that Fauci didn’t see coronavirus-related health restrictions as an “assault” on the liberties of Americans.

The testy back-and-forth exchange between Jordan and Fauci resulted in Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California telling Jordan to “shut your mouth” after the congressman’s time had expired and he attempted to continue questioning Fauci.

Scarborough expressed displeasure with Jordan, along with individuals who have minimized the severity of the coronavirus.

“It’s so personal and it is personal,” he said. “They have lied about Dr. Fauci. They have spread conspiracy theories about Dr. Fauci. They have said the most preposterous things.”

He added: “They’re trying to attack the messenger … while they’ve been lying through their teeth to the American people, who has been warning that a lot of people could die. A year ago, they kept saying, ‘Open things up, everything’s fine, what is this? No worse than the flu.’ No worse – over 550,000 people are dead. And the lies continue. The scapegoating still continues.”

Read more: Visa’s PAC gave politicians $139,000 in March after vowing to pause contributions because of the Capitol insurrection

Scarborough, a former GOP congressman who represented a deeply conservative district in the Florida Panhandle, refuted Jordan’s claims that individual freedoms have been threatened since the start of the pandemic last year.

“No personal liberties were taken away,” he said. “The Supreme Court has reviewed the cases. The courts have reviewed cases. It’s sheer idiocy playing for the lowest common denominator.”

Scarborough then lamented that “lies” and “conspiracy theories” about Fauci “have always gotten clicks.”

“You have to be a moron to believe it, but there are, I guess, a lot of morons out there,” he said. “Jim Jordan peddles the suggestion that Anthony Fauci somehow is the problem instead of a coronavirus that’s spread across America and killed 550,000 people.”

During the House Oversight and Reform hearing on Thursday, Jordan repeatedly asked Fauci for a set timeline on when people could resume their normal lives, seemingly ignoring the complexities of the virus, including new variants that have spread throughout the country this year.

“When do Americans get their freedom back?” Jordan asked Fauci. “We had 15 days to slow the spread … turned into a year of lost liberties.”

“You’re indicating liberty and freedom,” Fauci responded. “I look at it as a public health measure to prevent people from dying and going to hospital.”

Since the pandemic began in the US, nearly 32 million people have been infected and over 566,000 people have died, according to the latest data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

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Fauci says ‘kids of any age’ should be able to get vaccinated for the coronavirus by the first quarter of 2022

Dr. Fauci
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, adjusts a face mask during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on the federal coronavirus response on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 18, 2021.

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted “kids of any age” will be able to receive a COVID-19 vaccine by 2022.
  • Schools across the country are in the process of reopening for in-person learning.
  • So far, over 22% of the US population has been fully vaccinated against the disease.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases specialist, said on Sunday that all he predicts all kids will be able to receive a vaccine against the coronavirus by the beginning of 2022.

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said “kids of any age” should be able to get a vaccine by the first quarter of 2022.

“Hopefully before then,” he said on the show.

Schools across the country are in the process of reopening for in-person learning.

Vaccine testing in kids still underway. Late-stage trial results, however, show that the Pfizer vaccine is highly effective at preventing the coronavirus in kids between the ages of 12 and 15. While children don’t typically develop the most severe symptoms of COVID-19, experts say getting them vaccinated is an important step towards herd immunity.

COVID-19 vaccines have been rolling out in the United States since December. Over 22% of the US population has so far been fully vaccinated against the disease, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Vaccinations have been staggered by groups at the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Initial vaccines were given out to front-line responders like healthcare workers and people residing in long-term facilities like nursing homes.

Then, the CDC recommended vaccine providers prioritize people over the age of 75 and give them coronavirus vaccines. Some states like New York now allow all people 16 years or older to schedule and receive a vaccine.

In order to be fully vaccinated, individuals must receive two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Both have high efficacy rates, according to CDC data. CDC officials say getting both doses of either vaccine makes people up to 90% less likely to catch the virus.

Since the start of the pandemic last year, the coronavirus has infected more than 31 million people in the United States, JHU data says. Of that, more than 566,000 Americans have died from it.

Have a news tip? Reach this reporter at ydzhanova@insider.com

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Fauci says a COVID-19 booster shot is a ‘public health decision’ and not up to companies like Pfizer and Moderna

Anthony Fauci
Fauci said Sunday that a decision on booster shots could be made by the end of the summer.

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said Sunday that a COVID-19 booster shot could be necessary for the future.
  • Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna have said a third shot may be necessary.
  • Fauci said that decision would be made by public health officials and not pharmaceutical companies.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said Sunday that the decision about whether a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot would be needed would be made by public health officials and not by pharmaceutical companies.

During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Fauci, the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said that people wary of claims from Pfizer and Moderna that a booster shot of their COVID-19 vaccines could be assured that the decision wasn’t up to them.

“It is going to be a public health decision,” Fauci told “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd. “It is not going to be a decision that is made by a pharmaceutical company. We’re partners with them because they’re supplying it. It’ll be an FDA/CDC decision. The CDC will use their advisory committee and immunization practices the way they always do.

Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer, said earlier in April that people will likely require booster shots within one year of getting fully vaccinated. During a call with investors last week, Corinne M. Le Goff, Moderna’s chief commercial officer, said that the shift to administering booster shots could begin next year.

Results from Pfizer and Moderna’s clinical trials have indicated that the vaccine maintains efficacy for up to six months, but it’s still not known how long the vaccines will remain effective before another immunization is required.

Boosters may also be administered to target certain variants of COVID-19, like the B.1.351 strain first identified in South Africa, as Insider previously reported.

Fauci said that the CDC will use its advisory committee and the same immunization practices that they always do, which involves officials examining the durability of the vaccine over time by measuring the level of antibodies still present after a period of time.

If the level of antibodies begins to decrease after a certain point, Fauci said that public health experts could project when a booster shot would be required to prevent “breakthrough infections” of COVID-19.

“You might start seeing more breakthrough infections that go beyond the level of the efficacy of the vaccine, and then you might also make a decision to do it,” he said. “But it will be a public health-based decisin, not a pharmaceutical company-based decision.”

Fauci said Sunday he expected that the federal government would be ready to make a decision on whether and when a booster would be necessary by the end of the summer or beginning of the fall this year.

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More than 3,600 US health workers died in the first year of the pandemic, a yearlong investigation found, as there’s no official list

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A nurse puts on PPE before treating a coronavirus patient.

  • 3,607 US healthcare workers died in the first year of the pandemic, a yearlong investigation found.
  • There is no official federal list of healthcare worker deaths, and Fauci said that should exist.
  • The investigation found lower-paid workers were more likely to die, and PPE shortages increased deaths.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

More than 3,600 US health workers died in the first year of the pandemic, a yearlong has found.

The Guardian and Kaiser Health News found that as of April 2021, 3,607 healthcare workers had died, and that many of the deaths could have been prevented with proper personal protective equipment.

The outlets found that nonwhite healthcare workers and lower-paid workers were also more likely to due during the pandemic.

There is no official US government list of healthcare worker deaths.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious-disease expert, told The Guardian that he believes the federal government should, at some point, compile such a list: “We certainly want to find an accurate count of the people who die.”

He also said that healthcare worker deaths were increased by shortages of PPE.

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McConnell expresses confidence in Fauci’s expertise and urges Republican men to get the COVID-19 vaccine

mitch mcconnell
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

  • McConnell on Monday defended Fauci’s expertise amid ongoing attacks from Republicans.
  • “He’s the most reliable witness I’ve seen,” McConnell said.
  • The Senate Minority Leader also called on GOP men to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday expressed confidence in Dr. Anthony Fauci’s medical expertise after consistent attacks from Republicans, and urged GOP men to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

At an event in Kentucky, McConnell was asked if he still had “total” confidence in Fauci – the top infectious disease expert in the US and chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden.

“I think he’s the principal person we’ve relied on the last couple of years, that’s become somewhat controversial, I gather,” McConnell said of Fauci. “But, we have to take advice from somebody and … he’s the most reliable witness I’ve seen.”

Fauci, who’s advised seven presidents, has been one of the most trusted voices in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But he’s also been the target of attacks from top Republicans on a number of occasions, a trend that has escalated in recent weeks. Former President Donald Trump frequently went after Fauci and contradicted his medical advice, and many of Trump’s top allies have followed suit.

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, for example, recently called on Fauci to visit the US-Mexico border to witness what he described as the nation’s “biggest super spreader event.” This came amid escalating Republican criticism of Biden’s handling of a historic number of migrant arrivals at the border.

During an interview with Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto on Friday, Fauci said he found the GOP attacks on him a “little bizarre.”

“I’ve become sort of, for some reason or another, a symbol of anything they don’t like,” Fauci said.

As McConnell defended Fauci on Monday, he also reiterated a call for Republican men to get vaccinated for COVID-19 amid ongoing hesitancy from this demographic.

An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey released in mid-March found 49% of Republican men said they did not plan to get vaccinated, and other polling has shown skepticism of the shot among GOP voters.

“I saw on some program last week that Republican men, curiously enough, might be reluctant to take the vaccine. I’m a Republican man and I want to say to everyone, we need to take this vaccine,” McConnell said. “If we’re going all really be back to normal by this summer, we still have a way to go here in Kentucky and all across America to get those shots in arms over the next few months.”

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Dr. Birx said she had a ‘very uncomfortable’ phone call with Trump after she did a CNN interview about the pandemic last year

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Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, listens as President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House, Thursday, April 23, 2020, in Washington.

  • Dr. Deborah Birx, who worked under Trump, recounted an “uncomfortable” conversation with him last year.
  • Birx said the conversation happened after she appeared on CNN and provided “clarity” about the pandemic.
  • The interview is part of an upcoming CNN documentary about the pandemic.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the former White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator, said she last year had an “uncomfortable” conversation with former President Donald Trump after she spoke frankly during a cable news appearance.

Birx comments come in a preview of the upcoming documentary about the pandemic titled “COVID WAR: The Pandemic Doctors Speak Out,” which airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on CNN.

“It was a CNN report in August that got horrible pushback,” Birx said in the clip published Sunday by CNN. “That was a very difficult time, because everybody in the White House was upset with that interview and the clarity that I brought about the epidemic.

Read more: Democrats want to raise taxes this year. They’ll have a better shot in 2025.

“I got called by the President,” she added. “It was very uncomfortable, very direct, and very difficult to hear.”

As CNN noted, Birx in August appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” and offered a critical perspective on the state of the pandemic in the US at that time. In the interview, Birx said that the pandemic in August 2020 differed from a surge earlier in the year because the virus had infiltrated rural communities.

“What we are seeing today is different from March and April,” she said at the time. “It is extraordinarily widespread. It’s into the rural as equal urban areas.”

When asked by CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta if she felt threatened by the former president, she repeated the exchange had been a “very uncomfortable conversation.”

Birx told Gupta she knew she was “being watched.”

“Everybody inside was waiting for me to make a misstep so that they could, I guess, remove me from the task force,” she said.

Trump had a rocky relationship with his coronavirus taskforce advisers, as he publicly disregarded their advice, though he more publicly sparred with Dr. Anthony Fauci, the longtime director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Fauci has previously spoken out about what it was like working with the former president and said working under Biden was “liberating” in comparison. Trump in an interview in March bragged about having ignored Fauci’s recommendations.

“I thought rather than firing him, you know, I listened to him, but I didn’t do what he said because frankly, his record is not a good record,” Trump said on “The Truth with Lisa Boothe” podcast.

In an interview with The New York Times published in January, Fauci said Trump would sometimes call him after he gave an interview and ask why he hadn’t given a more “positive” outlook on the pandemic.

In a recently published clip from the forthcoming CNN documentary, Birx said every COVID-19 death in the US that occurred after the first 100,000 could’ve been mitigated after the first surge.

As of Sunday, more than 549,000 people in the US have died from COVID-19, according to data analyzed by Johns Hopkins University. The US reached 100,000 COVID-19 deaths by the end of May 2020.

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