A million new cases in just 15 days


Greetings, QuickTake readers! In this edition: Trump cancels Jacksonville portion of the RNC, AOC calls out abusive treatment by men, and scientists capture the first-ever picture of a solar system like our own.

U.S. tops 4 million virus cases

Confirmed U.S. cases of the coronavirus surpassed 4 million Thursday, just 15 days after hitting the 3-million mark, as infections continued trending upward in 39 states. And that's probably low-balling it.

Federal officials have said the real total is likely much higher: "Our best estimate right now is that for every case that was reported, there actually were 10 other infections," CDC Director Robert Redfield said last month.

U.S. testing czar Admiral Brett Giroir said that "it is really impossible to track and trace 67,000 new cases a day, which probably means we have about 200,000 cases a day that are actually there."

On Thursday alone, both California and Florida reported a record number of deaths in a day, and Illinois reached its highest daily case total in two months. In the past week, the rate of new infections has risen fastest in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.

More than 144,000 people have died from the virus in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University, which also reported that daily case counts since the beginning of the pandemic hit a peak on July 16, when more than 77,000 infections were documented. So far, hospitalizations topped out at nearly 60,000 on April 15.

$ignificant figures

1.42 million. U.S. jobless claims rose last week for the first time since March to that total, up 109,000 from the prior week, the clearest sign yet of a pause in the economic recovery as virus cases surge across the country.

30 million. The U.K. is aiming to give flu shots to that many people under its biggest-ever vaccination program this winter as it seeks to protect the National Health Service from a possible second wave of coronavirus.

$1,200. The 160 million Americans who got stimulus checks in April could get another check for that much in August under a GOP plan. Individuals earning up to $75,000 and couples earning up to $150,000 would qualify. 

Highly quotable

"I told my team it's time to cancel." Trump scrapped next month's RNC in Jacksonville, Florida, as the state posted a record 173 virus deaths on Thursday. His formal renomination will still go forward in North Carolina.

"My parents did not raise me to accept abuse from men." In a powerful House floor speech, AOC assailed a sexist culture of "accepting violence against women," particularly among Republicans, including Trump.

"Football can get caught in the crossfire." China's state TV demoted English Premier League matches from its main sports channel to one with fewer viewers, amid rising tensions between Beijing and the U.K.

This is not normal

Soiling the sea. Plastic pollution in our oceans is on track to triple by 2040, which could add up to 110 pounds of plastic trash for every meter of coastline worldwide unless dramatic action is taken, a new report found.

The future is now

Quantum leap. Scientists released the first-ever image of a solar system like our own, marking the first time astronomers have directly observed more than one planet orbiting a star similar to the Sun.

What's good

Kicking the habit. More than 1 million people in the U.K. have quit smoking since the Covid-19 pandemic began, according to a survey, which found 440,000 others have tried to quit over the past four months.

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BTW: It took an Italian land artist 10 hours to carve out a massive portrait of Joe Biden in a wheat field near Verona. See it.

Thanks for reading!
-Andrew Mach


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