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MarketWatch MarketPulseMay 18, 2022
Coronavirus tally: White House to hold first COVID briefing in six weeks hours after official U.S. death toll tops one million
Just hours after the official U.S. COVID-19 death toll passed the one million mark, the White House is planning to hold its first coronavirus briefing on Wednesday in six weeks and is expected to extend its declaration of the pandemic as a public health emergency, the New York Times reported. The briefing will be the first led by President Joe Biden's new COVID coordinator, Dr. Ashish Jha. Jha is expected to again call on Congress to release the funds needed for the next phase of the pandemic, and to secure vaccines, treatments and therapies in advance of an expected wave of cases in the fall and winter, the Times reported. COVID cases continue to rise and trend at the highest levels seen since November, driven by the BA.2 variant of omicron, and two other subvariants that appear to be even more infectious. The U.S. is averaging 100,732 cases a day, up 61% from two weeks ago, according to a New York Times tracker. It's the first time daily cases have topped 100,000 since early December. The country is averaging 22,642 hospitalizations a day, up 27% from two weeks ago. The daily death toll has fallen below 400 to 318 on average, down 7% from two weeks ago. Cases are higher in nearly every state, but the Northeast and Midwest are being particularly hard hit with case reports in both regions now higher than they were at the peak of last summer's delta surge. There are concerns that case numbers are even higher, as many people are now testing at home and the data is not being collected. On a global basis, total cases are now above 524.7 million. Total deaths are above 6.28 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, with the U.S. still leading the way with 82.7 million cases and 1,000,205 deaths.

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