In a statement released May 24, Georges Benjamin, MD, APHA's executive director, expressed sorrow over the U.S. nearing 100,000 COVID-19 deaths.

“This week, we’re approaching a sorrowful milestone: The number of people in the U.S. who have died from COVID-19 will soon reach 100,000. This is both a tragedy and a call to action," said Benjamin.

“Infection rates are slowing overall in the U.S., but with 1.6 million cases across the nation in the past four months, the outbreak is far from over. New hot spots are showing up daily, and rates remain steady in at least 25 states.

“Opening up communities to large gatherings and requiring people to go back to work before precautionary measures are put into place is the wrong path. We can and must do better.

“With each passing day, we learn more about this virus. Public health professionals are making progress in slowing the spread of the disease through increased testing and contact tracing, and researchers are sharing promising science on treatments and vaccines.

“But even with these advances, we must remain vigilant. We know that simple steps can minimize the spread of coronavirus. We must continue physical distancing, wearing masks, covering our coughs and sneezes, cleaning regularly and washing our hands.

“By staying the course together, we can strive to reach another milestone: An end to this outbreak, and an end to this tragic loss of life.”