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A daughter says goodbye to her father as medics transport him to Stamford Hospital on April 2 in Stamford, Connecticut. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The U.S. reported the highest coronavirus death toll in the world as of Saturday, per Johns Hopkins data. 18,860 Americans have died.

The big picture: More than 1,000 people in the U.S. have died every day from COVID-19 since April 1. China has reported fewer infections and deaths, but its reporting is encountering considerable skepticism.

Where it stands: Hard-struck states like New York, Louisiana and Illinois have passed their expected peak dates, when demands for medical resources like hospital beds and ventilators would be at their highest points, per models by the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

  • The death toll in New York — the epicenter of the virus in the U.S. — surged to its highest one-day total on Thursday, a record-high for the third straight day, then lowered on Friday.
  • Social distancing measures could bring the total projected death toll in the U.S. down to 60,000, a significant drop from earlier models that projected between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said.
  • African Americans, Native Americans and Hispanics are more likely than others in the U.S. to be endangered by the coronavirus due to chronic health conditions and the effects of economic inequality, Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Friday.

The other side: China's reported infections and deaths have been questioned by allies including Iran in recent days, the New York Times reports.

  • The CIA has reportedly been warning the White House since February that China has understated its infection rates, per the Times.

The bottom line: The U.S. missed the boat on the kind of swift, early response that would have been most effective against COVID-19, and has been scrambling to catch up ever since, Axios' Marisa Fernandez reports.

Go deeper: Global coronavirus deaths surpass 100,000

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
18 mins ago - Energy & Environment

Higher education expands its climate push

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New or expanded climate initiatives are popping up at several universities, a sign of the topic's rising prominence and recognition of the threats and opportunities it creates.

Why it matters: Climate and clean energy initiatives at colleges and universities are nothing new, but it shows expanded an campus focus as the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, and the world is nowhere near the steep emissions cuts that scientists say are needed to hold future warming in check.

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The pandemic isn't slowing tech

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Thursday's deluge of Big Tech earnings reports showed one thing pretty clearly: COVID-19 may be bad in all sorts of ways, but it's not slowing down the largest tech companies. If anything, it's helping some companies, like Amazon and Apple.

Yes, but: With the pandemic once again worsening in the U.S. and Europe, it's not clear how long the tech industry's winning streak can last.

Texas early voting surpasses 2016's total turnout

Early voting in Austin earlier this month. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Texas' early and mail-in voting totals for the 2020 election have surpassed the state's total voter turnout in 2016, with 9,009,850 ballots already cast compared to 8,969,226 in the last presidential cycle.

Why it matters: The state's 38 Electoral College votes are in play — and could deliver a knockout blow for Joe Biden over President Trump — despite the fact that it hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1976.