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COVID-19. Photo: Image Point Fr - LPN/BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The U.S. hit the 2 million-mark for confirmed cases of the coronavirus late Wednesday, per John's Hopkins University.

Why it matters: The milestone comes as every state across the country has started to gradually reopen after months of social distancing and mandated quarantining. Some states including Florida, Texas, Oregon and Arizona have already reported spikes in cases, partially attributed to increased testing.

  • The U.S. hit 1 million cases in late April, and 100,000 deaths last month. U.S. deaths are now over 112,900. U.S. Recoveries rest at over 533,500.
  • Original projections put U.S. deaths at a likely 100,000 to 200,000 in total.

Of note: The U.S. remains the world leader in confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. Brazil comes in second with over 772,400 cases and more than 39,600 deaths as of Wednesday night.

Go deeper

Sep 18, 2020 - Health

CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people

CDC director Robert Redfield testifies at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Sept. 16. Photo: Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its previously revised guidance for coronavirus testing on Friday to say that testing asymptomatic people who were exposed to COVID-19 is recommended for treatment and contact tracing.

Why it matters: The CDC's modification in August to recommend against testing for asymptomatic people was not written by scientists and posted despite their "serious objections," New York Times first reported. CNN confirmed that the agency's update was published outside the agency's "normal review process."

Rep. Brooks: We need to better prepare for pandemics

Axios' Margaret Talev (L) and Rep. Susan Brooks (R). Photo: Axios

Insufficient stockpiles and a lack of personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic should serve as a warning for America on future preparedness, Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.) said at an Axios virtual event on Friday.

What they're saying: "Congress had been beefing up for years — the appropriations for preparedness — it certainly was not enough, and we recognize that," Brooks said.

Sep 18, 2020 - Health

Rep. Khanna: COVID-19 could change the perception of public health care

Rep. Khanna and Axios' Margaret Talev

The universal experience of COVID-19 could change how opponents view Medicare for All, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said at an Axios virtual event on Friday.

What they're saying: "The pandemic has reminded us of our shared humanity with other American citizens. It's no longer possible to think, 'Oh, we're not part of those who get sick.' Now almost everyone knows, unfortunately, someone who has been hospitalized, someone who had a serious bout with COVID," Khanna said.