Why it matters: The number of new cases every day is holding steady in the U.S., but it’s not going down — a key benchmark many other countries achieved before loosening their lockdowns and social distancing measures.

In some of Europe’s hardest-hit countries, case counts seemed to skyrocket uncontrollably even amid some of the world’s strictest lockdowns.

Italy and Spain followed a similar pattern. New cases climbed over about a month from under 100 per day to terrifying peaks of roughly 8,000 per day in Spain and 6,000 per day in Italy.

The fall was nearly as sharp. Within two weeks of the peak, the rates of daily recorded cases had been halved. They’ve continued to fall since.