US faces record surge of coronavirus infections just days before election
A record surge of coronavirus infections in the United States drove hospitals closer to the brink of capacity and pushed the number of COVID-19 cases reported on Friday to a new daily world record of 100,000, four days before the U.S. presidential election.
The United States also documented its 9 millionth case to date on Friday, representing nearly 3% of the population, with almost 229,000 dead since the outbreak of the pandemic early this year, according to a Reuters tally of publicly reported data.
With the country facing the final stretch of a tumultuous presidential campaign dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. health authorities on Friday also confirmed that 100,233 more people had tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 24 hours.
Friday’s tally set a new single-day record in U.S. cases for the fifth time in the past 10 days, surpassing the previous peak of 91,248 new infections posted a day earlier.
It also represented the world’s highest national daily toll during the pandemic, exceeding India’s 24-hour record of 97,894 set in September.
The accelerating pace of U.S. infections continued as data trickled in on Friday, with at least a dozen states individually reporting a record number of new daily cases.
Serious cases of COVID-19 were on the rise as well, as hospitals in six states reported having the most patients suffering from the disease since the pandemic started. The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has risen over 50% in October to 46,000, the highest since mid-August.
Among the hard-hit states are those most hotly contested in the campaign between Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, such as Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
More than 1,000 people died of the virus on Thursday, the third time the daily death toll had exceeded that number this month, and the pace of fatalities is expected to continue rising. COVID claimed at least 926 more deaths on Friday.