The United States on Wednesday recorded at least 2,760 coronavirus-related deaths — its worst daily death toll due to the virus since the pandemic began. The staggering figure coincided with the single-worst daily hospitalizations total which topped 100,000 on Wednesday as the nation reels from spiking cases nationwide.
The grim death toll hasn’t been been so high since the deadliest days of the pandemic in the spring when the highest daily tally for deaths reached 2,752 on April 15 according to The New York Times’ count. On Wednesday that number rose to at least 2,760.
The number of hospitalizations — which topped six figures on Wednesday according to The COVID Tracking Project— are more than double the number at the beginning of last month. The surging hospitalizations likely foreshadow an increase in the number of deaths due to COVID-19 to come in the wake of the Thanksgiving holiday when millions of Americans traveled and gathered indoors.
The news comes as Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned on Wednesday that a difficult winter awaits. He predicted that total deaths from COVID-19 could reach “close to 450,000” by February unless many more Americans begin taking more precautions to combat the virus’ spread.
“It’s not a fait accompli,” Redfield said in an address at Chamber of Commerce Foundation on Wednesday. “We’re not defenseless. The truth is that mitigation works. But it’s not going to work if half of us do what we need to do. Probably not even if three-quarters do.”