Worldwide COVID-19 cases swell over 300,000 as US could have 70,000 by week’s end

tumsasedgars/i/Stock(NEW YORK) -- The COVID-19 coronavirus has officially reached every continent on the globe, except Antartica, with 335,974 total diagnosed cases as of Sunday.  

The global death toll exceeded 10,000 -- with 14,356 reported deaths as of Sunday.  

According to data compiled by the Center of Systems Science and Engineering at John Hopkins University, 98,328 people have recovered from the virus.

Currently in the U.S., there are over 33,276 cases of COVID-19 with 417 reported deaths.  Of those infected, 176 have recovered.

Director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, painted a grim picture of what the future holds in the U.S. when it comes to COVID-19 cases.  In a conference call on Friday, he estimated that America will have up to 70,000 cases by the end of this week.

He clarified, "that doesn’t mean necessarily that the outbreak has exploded at an even more rapid rate" but that "testing is now going to be much more available across the country."

As for when things may return to normal, Collins offered little hope that the virus will abate around the time the flu virus normally diminishes -- a theory that was once pressed by President Donald Trump.

Collins estimates, "I have no crystal ball. ... Will we be back [to normal] by July or August or September? I have no idea."

If Americans wish for life to return to normal sooner, then practicing "social distancing" -- which is standing six feet away from people at all times -- is critical.  

In another attempt to stem the spread of COVID-19, President Trump announced that the National Guard has been deployed to New York, California, and Washington -- the states with the most cases.

"The federal government will be funding 100% of the cost to deploy National Guard units to carry out approved missions to stop the virus while those governors remain in command," said the president. "I directed FEMA to supply the following: Four large medical stations with 1,000 beds for New York, eight large federal medical stations with 2,000 beds for California. and three large federal medical stations and four small federal medical stations with 1,000 beds for the state of Washington."

In addition, testing will be expanded and prioritized to the "neediest" cases. 

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