Story at a glance
- The U.S. recorded 87,164 cases on Thursday, a pandemic record.
- Public health officials blame lax public health protocols
The U.S. hit two troubling coronavirus milestones Thursday: 87,164 new confirmed infections in a single day — a record high — and a total of almost 9 million cases reported since the onset of the pandemic, CNN reports.
Data suggests the two-week average for positive cases has increased by 42 percent, and fatalities have also increased by 16 percent.
These increases are not expected to slow down. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, believes that it is only a matter of time before the U.S. sees 100,000 new cases a day.
“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,” he told CNN.
Gottlieb blamed a lack of public caution for the rise in new cases, suggesting people are not heeding protocols recommended by public health officials.
“The reality is that I think we’re not going to start to see a slowdown in the pandemic until you see consumer behavior change, and until you see mobility data start to decline,” he said. “That’s been the lesson of the past surges in the virus.”
The surge in cases is primarily seen in Midwest and Southwest states, with Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and North and South Dakota recording record numbers of new cases.
The dramatic surge comes days before the election, where the pandemic has become a dominant issue.
President Trump says that the U.S. is “turning the corner” in regards to the public health crisis, while Democratic challenger Joe Biden has stated that at the current new case trajectory, the U.S. is headed for a “dark winter.”