The nation broke a previous record for the most coronavirus cases reported in a single day since the pandemic began with more than 87,000 new positive tests for COVID-19 reported on Thursday, as infections surge in many parts of the country.
The number of new cases shatters a record that was set just last week, when roughly 83,700 new infections were reported for the day on Friday — a total that held steady on Saturday according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The staggering total comes as the number of COVID-19 cases approaches a new milestone of 9 million total infections since the coronavirus pandemic began. Just 15 days after the tally hit 8 million.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration and a Trump appointee, told CNN he believes 100,000 new cases per day in the US is just about guaranteed.
“We’ll cross 100,000 infections at some point in the next couple of weeks, probably. We might do it this week, if all the states report on time,” Gottlieb said.
Leading infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday said that a lack of adherence to public health guidelines about curbing the spread of coronavirus had attributed to the ballooning of cases. During a panel interview at the University of Melbourne Fauci doubled down of the importance of mask-wearing, social distancing, avoiding crowds, and regular hand-washing.
“If everybody had done that uniformly, I don’t think we would’ve been in the position we’re in right now,” he said.
The comments come as President Donald Trump in his closing arguments ahead of Election Day has appeared to abandon leadership on the virus — instead conveying a kind of resignation.
“You know the bottom line, though? You’re gonna get better,” Trump told a crowd at a Florida rally on Thursday, touting his own recovery and severely undercounting the number of people who have died from coronavirus.
“210,000 lives,” he said of the COVID-19 death toll on Thursday — a milestone that the United States hit more than three weeks ago — as more than 228,000 people have perished from the virus to date.
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden meanwhile accused President Trump of “doing nothing,” to get the virus under control during a dueling rally in the sunshine state on Thursday.
“We’re learning to die with it and Donald Trump has waved the white flag, abandoned our families and surrendered to the virus,” Biden said.