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US hits daily record of nearly 90K coronavirus cases, experts warn of upcoming death rate spike

US hits daily record of nearly 90K coronavirus cases, experts warn of upcoming death rate spike
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The United States on Thursday hit a new record for a single-day increase in coronavirus infections with nearly 90,000 new cases reported, according to data collected from Johns Hopkins University

On Thursday, the U.S. had 88,521 new coronavirus cases, an increase of 9,540 from the number of new infections recorded Wednesday.

The Johns Hopkins University data shows that since the pandemic first hit the U.S., there have been a total of 8,948,099 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country and at least 228,696 deaths.

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The university recorded 971 deaths on Thursday. 

"This is the hardest point in this pandemic right now — the next two months," Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, said during an interview on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Thursday. "We can't give up our guard right now."

According to a recent analysis from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington School of Medicine, about 2,250 Americans could be dying every day from COVID-19 by the middle of January.

"If states do not react to rising numbers by re-imposing mandates, cumulative deaths could reach 514,000 by the same date," the IHME said in its latest forecast.

"The fall/winter surge should lead to a daily death toll that is approximately three times higher than now by mid-January,” the institute added. “Hospital systems, particularly ICUs, are expected to be under extreme stress in December and January in 18 states."

This data comes as the COVID Tracking Project on Thursday reported a new U.S. record of more than 500,000 infections recorded this week. 

Twenty-five states have set a new record for cases in the last two weeks, including 17 states with record highs since last Wednesday.

According to the tracking project, hospitalizations nationally have risen to an average of almost 43,000 people, up from around 30,000 at the beginning of the month.