Global death toll hits 1M; House unveils $2.2 trillion relief bill — 4 COVID-19 updates

The global COVID-19 death toll surpassed 1 million Sept. 28, with U.S. virus deaths accounting for more than 20 percent of the total. 

This figure is likely an undercount and surpasses the number of people estimated to have died from malaria, flu, cholera and measles globally over the same time period, according to The New York Times.

Before a vaccine is available, it is likely the global death toll will hit 2 million, Mike Ryan, MD, executive director of World Health Organization's emergencies program, said during a Sept. 25 news briefing.  

Three other updates:

1. The White House plans to distribute 100 million rapid COVID-19 tests to states as they reopen. The government purchased 150 million Abbott BinaxNOW diagnostic tests in August so governors won't have to compete for the initial shipments or take time setting up contracts, according to a Sept. 28 news release. The Abbott BinaxNOW Ag Card rapid test will be used by schools, critical infrastructure, first responders and other agencies and individuals to be decided by governors. The test is the only FDA-authorized antigen rapid point-of-care test that doesn't require an instrument. It produces COVID-19 test results in 15 minutes and costs $5.

2. COVID-19 is nearly twice as common in adolescents than younger children, a CDC report found. The agency analyzed data on 277,285 pediatric COVID-19 cases reported since March. The CDC identified about twice as many cases in kids ages 12-17 than children ages 5-11. 

3. House Democrats unveiled a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief package Sept. 28 in an attempt to restart negotiations with the White House, according to The Wall Street Journal. The scaled-back relief package is $1.2 trillion less than the HEROES Act the House passed earlier this year, according to The Hill. The bill includes $75 billion for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and other healthcare efforts, and another $28 billion for COVID-19 vaccine efforts. For a more in-depth breakdown of the relief package, click here.

Snapshot of COVID-19 in the U.S.

Cases: 7,150,165
Deaths: 205,091
Recovered: 2,794,608

Counts reflect data available as of 8:30 a.m. CDT Sept. 29.

More articles on public health:

Nearly a third of parents don't intend to vaccinate their kids against the flu, survey shows
Disaster declaration issued after brain-eating amoeba detected in Texas city's water supply
23 states where COVID-19 is spreading fastest, slowest: Sept. 29


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