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As death toll nears 100,000, some Americans break from social distancing during holiday weekend
1418  Light Myanmar 

The number of deaths caused by the novel coronavirus neared 100,000 on Monday, as Americans -- some who decided to forgo social distancing -- wrapped up their Memorial Day weekends. As of Monday evening, the number of coronavirus-related deaths had reached 98,218, more than the number of US troops killed in the Korean and Vietnam wars combined. President Donald Trump commemorated Memorial Day at Arlington National Cemetery and at an event in Baltimore, where he added a tribute to the victims of the virus. "As one nation, we mourn alongside every single family that has lost loved ones, including the families of our great veterans," he said at the second event. "Together, we will vanquish the virus and America will rise from this crisis to new and greater heights."

At a glance, it looked this weekend like many Americans have forgotten about the dangers of coronavirus. Crowds packed beaches in Florida, Maryland, Georgia, Virginia and Indiana. Many people ventured out without masks and others failed to keep their distance even as officials highlighted the continued importance of both in order to prevent another surge of infections.

It wasn't just the beaches. Pictures posted on social media showed mostly unmasked people crowded together at Ace Speedway in Elon, North Carolina, on Saturday. "We're tired of being stuck in the house. I'm not afraid of this virus one bit," spectator Becky Woosley told CNN affiliate WGHP. Speedway co-owner Jason Turner told CNN affiliate WXII that 2,500 fans were admitted -- half of the speedway capacity -- and that staff encouraged but did not enforce social distancing. "People have the right to choose where they go and what they do," he said.

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