COVID horror worsens in America
PIC: AFP

Public health officials in the US announced over 152,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the first day over 150,000 since the pandemic began, an alarming record that came just over a week after the country first experienced 100,000 cases in a single day.

Over 100,000 COVID-19 cases have been announced nationwide every day since November 4, and six of the last nine days have broken the previous record, reported New York Times.

Hospitalisations for COVID-19 also set a record on Thursday, climbing to 67,096, according to the Covid Tracking Project. It was the third straight day of record numbers, and the figure has doubled in just five weeks.

Meanwhile, deaths are also averaging to over 1,000 each day.

Illinois Governor JB Pritzker suggested that he could soon impose a stay-at-home order in the state, where more than 75,000 cases have emerged in the last week.

"We're running out of time and we're running out of options," New York Times quoted Pritzker.

Case numbers are trending upward in 46 states and holding relatively steady in four, while no state is seeing a decline in cases.

Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Minnesota all exceeded their previous single-day records on Thursday by more than 1,000 cases.

"COVID-19 is everywhere in our state: It is bad everywhere, and it is getting worse everywhere," said Julie Willems Van Dijk, the deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

According to the latest update by Johns Hopkins University, the US currently has 10,546,706 coronavirus cases in total, with 242,622 deaths.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has publicly disengaged from the battle against the coronavirus at a moment when the disease is tearing across the United States at an alarming pace.

Trump, fresh off his reelection loss to President-elect Joe Biden, remains angry that an announcement about progress in developing a vaccine for the disease came after Election Day. And aides say the president has shown little interest in the growing crisis even as new confirmed cases are skyrocketing and hospital intensive care units in parts of the country are nearing capacity.

Public health experts worry that Trump's refusal to take aggressive action on the pandemic or to coordinate with the Biden team during the final two months of his presidency will only worsen the effects of the virus and hinder the nation's ability to swiftly distribute a vaccine next year.

The White House coronavirus task force held its first post-election meeting Monday. Officials discussed the rising case numbers and the promise of a vaccine in development by Pfizer, and they recognised the service of Navy Rear Admiral John Polowczyk, a member of the task force who retired Monday.

But Trump, who does not take part in the task force meetings, remains preoccupied with last week's election results. He has yet to weigh in on the recent spike in virus cases that has state and local officials scrambling and hospitals concerned about their ability to treat those stricken.

Although the president has consistently played down the pandemic, which has killed more than 240,000 Americans and infected more than 10 million people in the US, public health experts expressed worry about Trump's silence on the troubling spike in cases, as well as his refusal to begin coordination on virus issues with Biden's transition team.

"It's a big problem," said Dr. Abraar Karan, a global health specialist at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. "The transition is not going to happen until January, and we are in a complete crisis right now. We already know where this is headed...It's not good enough to say we're going to wait until the next president to address this." The president's silence comes as numerous White House and campaign officials have tested positive for the virus in recent days.

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