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Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
As of Monday night, 1,508,598 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the United States (an increase of 21,841 from yesterday) and 90,353 deaths have been attributed to the virus (an increase of 791 from yesterday), according to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 Dashboard, leading to a mortality rate among confirmed cases of 6 percent (the true mortality rate is likely lower, but it’s impossible to determine precisely due to incomplete testing regimens). Of 11,834,508 coronavirus tests conducted in the United States (335,305 conducted since yesterday), 12.8 percent have come back positive.
Markets soared on Monday after the drug maker Moderna announced an early trial for a potential COVID-19 vaccine showed patients had developed neutralizing antibodies to the virus. The Phase I trial was led by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and featured only a small number of participants, but experts see the results as encouraging. China has promising coronavirus vaccines in development as well, four of which are already in human trials. President Xi Jinping spoke to the World Health Assembly Monday and promised any resulting vaccine “will be made a global public good.”
President Trump sent a letter to World Health Organization Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warning him if the WHO doesn’t “commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days,” the United States will make its temporary funding freeze of the organization permanent and “reconsider” its membership.