The United States hit a grim milestone Wednesday as confirmed coronavirus cases topped 200,000, adding intense pressure to overstretched hospitals still struggling to find necessary medical supplies and drawing new warnings that the worst is yet to come.

With more than 4,500 Americans already dead, Vice President Mike Pence, who heads the White House coronavirus task force, compared the fast-rising trajectory to that of hard-hit Italy, which has suffered the most deaths so far from the global pandemic.

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