The U.S. has more confirmed cases of the coronavirus than any country in the world, surpassing China, where the pandemic began. According to a running tally kept by Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. had 82,404 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday evening. China had 81,782 and Italy had 80,589.
The news comes as the global infection count passed the half-a-million threshold Thursday, according to the Johns Hopkins. U.S. deaths from the pandemic have now topped 1,000. Worldwide, the death toll climbed past 23,000.
Amid a widespread shutdown caused by the virus, nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, almost five times the previous record set in 1982. Layoffs are sure to accelerate as the U.S. economy sinks into a recession with restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, gyms and airlines all losing profits due to restrictions and shutdowns.