US death toll tops 200K as Europe outlook darkens; FDA adds teeth to vaccine approval

The U.S. marked a grim milestone in the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 200,000 deaths reported Tuesday, even as optimism continues to rise over a vaccine.

The new total reaches what was seen as the upper limit of deaths in April, when the pandemic was taking hold in the country. Last week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its forecast, anticipating a total of 207,000 to 218,00 deaths by the week ending October 10.

Back in April, the milestone was one that Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), was optimistic the U.S. could avoid. “I don’t accept every day that we’re going to have to have 100- to 200,000 deaths.  I think we can really bring that down,” he said then.

But without a cohesive national strategy to curb the outbreak, and amid breakdowns in social distancing and other

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