THE US reported a world record of 100,000 new Covid-19 cases in a day on Friday(30) just four days before the US presidential election.
The surge in cases has pushed hospitals closer to the brink of capacity in the US, reports said.
The US also documented its 9 millionth case to date on Friday, representing nearly 3 per cent of the population, with almost 229,000 dead since the outbreak of the pandemic early this year, according to a Reuters tally.
The US health authorities confirmed that 100,233 more people had tested positive for Covid-19 over the past 24 hours.
Friday’s tally surpassed 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 number of hospitalised Covid-19 patients has risen over 50 per cent 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(29), the third time the daily death toll had exceeded that number this month, and the pace of fatalities is expected to continue rising. The disease claimed at least 926 more deaths on Friday.
The University of Washington’s newly updated model projects the death toll, which had been holding at a monthly pace of just over 22,000 for most of October, will start climbing next month toward a new record of more than 72,000 in January.
The January projection by the university’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation would eclipse the nearly 61,000 fatalities in April when the pandemic first exploded in the US and overwhelmed hospitals in New York City.
But, Trump has repeatedly played down the virus, saying for weeks that the country is “rounding the turn,” even as new cases and hospitalizations soared.
He maintained his upbeat tone in a tweet on Friday, saying the country was doing much better than Europe had in confronting the pandemic.
Biden and fellow Democrats in Congress have criticised the president for his handling of the health crisis.
In the US House of Representatives, Democrats released a report on Friday condemning the Trump administration’s pandemic response as being “among the worst failures of leadership in American history.” At least 6 million Americans have been thrust into poverty and millions more are jobless, it said.
The 71-page interim report by Democratic staff of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis also said investigators identified more than 60 instances in which Trump administration officials overruled or sidelined top scientists to advance the president’s political interests.