USA overtakes China, Italy in total confirmed coronavirus cases, researchers say

Coronavirus claims over 20,000 lives globally

More than 1000 US coronavirus deaths, near 70000 cases

With 150 new fatalities reported so far on Thursday alone, Covid-19 has killed a total of 1,177 Americans to date.Thursday also saw cases worldwide soar beyond half a million, with more than 525,000 infections reported around the globe.

US President Donald Trump said he was likely to be speaking with President Xi Jinping of China later in the day and cast doubt on Beijing's figures about coronavirus cases. Italy, regarded as the world's emerging hotspot in recent weeks, dropped to third with 80,589 cases.

The 20,000 confirmed cases in NY represent more confirmed cases than the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada combined.

Numerous new cases in the U.S. are in major cities, like NY and New Orleans, where densely packed residents help the virus spread.

The first case in the USA was confirmed in Everett, Washington, in late January in a patient who had recently returned from Wuhan, one of China's largest transportation hubs. And the U.S.is bleeding jobs as well: The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits last week was almost five times the old record, set in 1982.

The rescue plan, which is expected to be voted on in the House on Friday, would dispense checks of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday that the aggressive social-distancing measures put in place in the state were starting to slow the virus' spread.

-In Brazil, the country's governors are defying President Jair Bolsonaro over his call to reopen schools and businesses, dismissing his argument that the "cure" of widespread shutdowns is worse than the disease.

The flu and pneumonia caused around 60,000 deaths.

Johns Hopkins shows 3,291 people have died in China and 1,178 in the U.S.

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