SPONSORED:

US tops 18M coronavirus cases

US tops 18M coronavirus cases
© Getty Images

The U.S. topped 18 million confirmed COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic on Tuesday, clocking a grim milestone during a holiday week and growing concerns about a more contagious coronavirus strain discovered in the U.K.

The U.S. surpassed 18 million cases midday Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University’s data, with the last 1 million cases being recorded within six days.

The milestone comes as the U.S. passes 320,000 deaths from the virus that was first confirmed in the country in January.

ADVERTISEMENT

The U.S. has confirmed the most cases and deaths out of any country in the world, accounting for about 23 percent of the world’s cases and almost 19 percent of the world’s fatalities. 

The U.S. is rapidly approaching a cumulative 20 million case total as the virus surges across the county overwhelming hospitals in some states. 

The milestone comes amid the emergence of a more contagious COVID-19 strain in the U.K., which has led some in the U.S. to call for travel restrictions. 

The White House is reportedly discussing an option of mandating travelers from the U.K. to provide a negative coronavirus test 48 to 72 hours before their arrival in the U.S., CNN reported Monday. 

Other state officials have taken their own actions, including New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoCuomo's communications director resigns The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Emergent BioSolutions - Facebook upholds Trump ban; GOP leaders back Stefanik to replace Cheney Broadway to fully reopen in September MORE (D), who got approval from three airlines to test all passengers before arriving at area airports. Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeWashington state to provide free menstrual hygiene products in school bathrooms Cuomo signs legislation restoring voting rights to felons upon release from prison Colorado legislature passes bill to allow human composting MORE (D) announced on Monday plans to require those coming from the U.K. and South Africa to Washington state to quarantine for 14 days

ADVERTISEMENT

However, some health officials in the U.S. sought to alleviate concerns about the strain. Top infectious diseases expert Anthony FauciAnthony FauciSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as White House continues to push vaccination effort Biden confronts limits of big government with COVID-19 Watch live: White House holds briefing with COVID-19 response team MORE warned against “overreacting” and imposing “rather draconian” travel bans, as dozens of countries have instituted bans against U.K. flight arrivals. 

But Fauci said Americans should assume the new strain has already reached the U.S.

The 18 million case mark also follows the Food and Drug Administration approvals for the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines earlier this month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 600,000 Americans have received their first vaccine dose as of Monday morning.