American deaths from the coronavirus passed Italy’s, affirming the U.S.’s spot as the epicenter of the global pandemic.

Deaths from the virus reached at least 19,563 in the U.S. after New York reported 783 new fatalities, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News and Johns Hopkins University.

The heavy toll in the U.S. — and much of Europe — is linked to the failure to enact widespread measures like mass testing and social distancing early enough to prevent the virus from taking hold. Parts of the U.S. were still not locked down in recent days, creating the opportunity for wider spread in places that haven’t suffered as much as hot spots in New York and Detroit.

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