This is your May 22, 2020, Daily Pandemic Update. Follow the daily updates here

  • Global confirmed coronavirus cases – 5,220,772
  • Global coronavirus deaths – 335,162

The story of the coronavirus in the US shifted over this week. New York still holds the most confirmed cases and deaths by the virus, but New York is no longer the epicenter of the outbreak in the US. If we subtracted all cases in the US except New York, New York would still have the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID19 in the world, but the tide has turned. There are fewer new confirmed cases in New York on a daily basis. As the mainstream media watches New York, they see an outbreak that is coming under control in America. That is not an accurate story. The epicenter of America’s experience with the coronavirus pandemic is moving out of New York and spreading across the country.

The Second Wave

The number of states reporting 500 or more new cases of the virus in the last 24 hours continues to increase today even as Connecticut became the most recent and last state to reopen after its pandemic lockdown.

States with at least 500 newly confirmed cases in the last 24 hours, coronavirus hot spots. May 22, 2020, Daily Pandemic Update

This upward trend of surges in newly confirmed cases throughout the country has continued for three weeks now and suggests the second wave will be a national event, even as New York recovers. As social distancing decreases and the need to reopen businesses and institutions increases, the size of this second wave will grow more extensive across the US.

Yesterday President Trump clarified the perspective that will help in shaping this second wave as more damaging and widespread than the outbreak in New York. “We’re not going to close the country – we’re going to put out the fires,” said the President.

May 22, 2020, Daily Pandemic Update
“We’re not going to close the country – we’re going to put out the fires.” President Trump

Patterns of this spread are already recognizable in the southern United States. America’s coronavirus hotspots are moving out of New York and into other parts of the country.

New Guidance and Studies

The US will hit 100,000 deaths from the virus before the end of the coming weekend. We need to note that these 100,000 deaths occurred in just over two months since the WHO declared the global pandemic on March 11. A report from a team of researchers at Imperial College London said this number could double in two months thanks to relaxed social distancing throughout America.

Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) updated the guidance on their web site to explain the virus does not spread easily on surfaces. This new guidance from the CDC came without fanfare and contradicted earlier directives. According to the CDC, the coronavirus transmits primarily from person to person contact.

A new study released yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine also demonstrated how the virus’s effect on the body is much worse than the flu.

International – May 22, 2020, Daily Pandemic Update

Internationally, Italy said their death toll from the virus might be much higher than initially believed. The excess deaths in Italy for March and April were 60% higher than initially reported. Italy said their pandemic death toll might jump from 32,000 to around 50,000 after they investigate this anomaly.

Russia and Brazil continue to battle for the second-place spot on total confirmed coronavirus cases.

  Total Confirmed Cases Total Deaths
Russia 326,448 3,249
Brazil 312,074 20,112


We previously tracked the timeline and spread of the pandemic for the US here and the globe here. The previous trackers will be archived and remain posted for research and record purposes. If you enjoyed this May 22, 2020, Daily Pandemic Update, please consider subscribing to the blog.