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U.S. tops 170,000 COVID-19 deaths

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The United States surpassed 170,000 coronavirus deaths on Sunday (August 16).

That's according to a Reuters tally, as health officials express concerns over COVID-19 dovetailing disastrously with the fall flu season.

Deaths rose by 483 on Sunday (August 16), with Florida, Texas and Louisiana, leading the rise in fatalities.

Those numbers capped off a week where data showed the virus continued to spread unabated.

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner defended the government response, saying they now knew more about the disease than when it first emerged.

"At some point, we will get to the other end of this pandemic and in the meantime, all different countries, all different states are trying different things. As the federal government we've been trying to share best practices, we've been speaking with a lot of governors, and we've been making sure that the different states have all the resources they need in order to take a tailored strategy given the data that they see on the ground."

The United States has at least 5.4 million confirmed cases in total of the novel coronavirus, the highest in the world and likely an undercount as the country still has not ramped up testing to the recommended levels.

Public health officials and authorities are concerned about a possible fall resurgence in cases amid the start of the flu season, which will likely exacerbate efforts to treat the coronavirus.

Centers for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield warned in an interview with Web MD the United States may be in for its "worst fall" if the public does not follow health guidelines.

On Saturday (August 15), President Donald Trump said he disagreed with Redfield's flu season projection, and said he'd handled the crisis well.

"We've done it right."

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is anticipating an rise in COVID-19 cases in the coming months, resulting in around 300,000 total deaths in the U.S. by December.

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