US records over 14 million coronavirus cases
The United States has officially recorded more than 14 million coronavirus cases as of Thursday, less than a week after the country topped the 13 million-infection threshold, a sign that the virus is spreading at an alarming rate.
According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the U.S. has had a total of 14,102,562 coronavirus infections, with at least 275,729 deaths as a result of the virus.
This record comes a day after the U.S. saw its highest single-day coronavirus death toll to date with 3,157 fatalities.
This number was 20 percent higher than the previous single-day high of 2,603 on April 15.
On Thursday, newly reported infections exceeded 200,000 for the second day in a row, according to the COVID Tracking Project. The group also recorded a total of about 100,667 currently hospitalized due to the virus, with 19,442 of those patients in the intensive care unit.
News of the latest grim milestone shows that the U.S has been registering millions of COVID-19 cases in a matter of days.
The U.S. hit 14 million infections just six days after Johns Hopkins University recorded a total of more than 13 million infections. Six days before that, the country had reached 12 million another six days after the U.S. hit 11 million.
Globally, there have been more than 65 million coronavirus infections and more than 1.5 million fatalities, with one death reported every nine seconds on a weekly average, according to Reuters.
The U.S. far surpasses other countries in total infections, with India in second place at more than 9.5 million infections, Brazil with 6.4 million and Russia at more than 2.3 million cases.
Some states across the country that were previously successful at lowering infection rates over the summer are now experiencing new COVID-19 surges, prompting elected officials to reimpose lockdown orders and other restrictions.
In New York City, the coronavirus infection rate topped 5 percent Thursday, the highest since May. The news came as Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) announced the creation of the Pandemic Response Institute (PRI) to prepare the city and other areas for future health emergencies.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Thursday announced new rules that temporarily close indoor dining, bars, playgrounds, wineries, live sports with crowds, nail and hair salons and other personal services for a three-week period.
Schools already open will remain open, as will retail stores and malls, with a 20 percent capacity and metering restrictions. Religious institutions will be limited to outdoor services.
Newsom is dividing the state into five regions, and the restrictions will be triggered when ICU capacity falls below 15 percent in any given area.
The California governor said in a press conference Thursday that the restrictions are based on “the need to stop gathering with people outside your household.”
President-elect Joe Biden on Thursday also said he would call on Americans to wear masks for his first 100 days in office.
“Just 100 days to mask, not forever. 100 days. And I think we’ll see a significant reduction” in COVID-19 infections, Biden said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, according to a preview of the interview set to air Thursday evening.
While Biden wants everyone to wear masks, he will not have the constitutional authority to directly order a nationwide mask mandate.
Amid the spikes in cases across the country, coronavirus relief talks picked up on Capitol Hill on Thursday during a phone meeting between Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Drew Hammill, a spokesman for Pelosi, said Thursday afternoon that the two leaders discussed their “shared commitment to completing an omnibus and COVID relief as soon as possible.”
Earlier in the day, Pelosi told reporters “we will have an agreement” on coronavirus package funding by Dec. 11, the date government funding is set to expire, following weeks of back-and-forth discussions on a relief package.