Four days before the presidential election, the United States broke the world record on the number of COVID-19 cases recorded by any country in a single 24-hour period as it passed the 100,000-mark. The country confirmed 100,233 COVID-19 cases on Friday, according to Reuters. Others have a slightly different count with CNN saying 99,321 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Friday while NBC News puts the number at 98,583. Regardless of the exact figure, the number breaks the previous record that had been held by India, which reported 97,894 cases on September 17. Overall, some 9 million people have contracted the coronavirus in the United States, amounting to almost 3 percent of the population as the number of dead approaches 230,000.
The new daily record comes as President Donald Trump continues to insist that the country is “rounding the corner” on the virus. Yet even as the president and his allies continue to claim that the high number of COVID-19 cases merely reflects increased testing, the fresh record comes as hospitals in six states report having the most patients with the virus since the pandemic started. As of the end of the week, hospitalizations in 18 states reached records when the seven-day average is taken into account, with states in the West and Midwest particularly affected.
Experts say the death tolls will soon start to surge as well. “The 100,000 cases yesterday two weeks from now will start to translate into massive numbers of deaths,” Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a professor of medicine at George Washington University, told CNN. “So we’re going to see not just cases continue to escalate but we’re going to see perhaps 2,000 deaths per day two or three weeks from now.” Donald Trump Jr. claimed Thursday that COVID-19 deaths had dropped to “almost nothing” and said those who are talking about a new surge are “truly morons.” Yet experts say there’s no disputing the data. “We’re at a point where the epidemic is accelerating across the country. We’re right at the beginning of the steep part of the epidemic curve,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner, told CNBC. Gottlieb predicted a likely surge around Thanksgiving and said that “December’s probably going to be the toughest month.”
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