The United States set a record for coronavirus cases on Saturday, with more than five million people now infected, according to a Reuters tally, as the country’s top infectious diseases official offered hope earlier this week that an effective vaccine might be available by year-end.
With one out of every 66 residents infected, the United States leads the world in COVID-19 cases, according to a Reuters analysis. The country has recorded more than 160,000 deaths, nearly a quarter of the world’s total.
The grim milestone comes as President Donald Trump signed executive orders intended to provide economic relief to Americans hurt by the coronavirus pandemic after the White House failed to reach a deal with Congress.
On Friday, the Labor Department reported that U.S. employment growth slowed considerably in July, underscoring an urgent need for additional government aid.