More than 10 million Americans have now been infected with coronavirus sine the pandemic began, according to the latest data.
The U.S. is the first country in the world to cross that grim threshold, with 105,927 new cases reported among Americans Sunday alone.
As of Sunday, 56,768 people in were hospitalized for the infection. Hospitalizations have been increasing steadily since late-September and are closing in on the July peak of just under 60,000.
Cases have been increasing most dramatically in the Midwest, while the South accounts for nearly half of all infections nationwide. Some states that are struggling to get a handle on their outbreaks, including Utah, have finally issued mask mandates, and others are closing down or limiting capacity and hours for bars and restaurants.
Experts are warning that the US is now seeing its third wave of the pandemic – although, notably, top U.S. infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, says the nation is still in its protracted first wave – the latest phase of the pandemic is far less deadly than the first spring wave.
Yesterday, 457 people died of the virus. Despite fatalities topping 1,000 the previous five days, the average number of daily deaths – a more reliable metric – has not reached four digits since August, according to DailyMail.com analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.
More than 10 million Americans have now had coronavirus with nearly half of the nation’s cases in the South and massive surges in new daily infections in the Midwest
Illinois, one of the first states to identify a coronavirus case in the early days of the pandemic, is now a leading hotspot once more, with more than 60,000 new cases reported in the past two weeks, and more than 4,300 residents hospitalized
It comes as Pfizer announced that its experimental coronavirus vaccine prevented more than 90 percent of coronavirus infections in its late-stage trials, and volunteers who did get coronavirus but had been vaccinated had milder illnesses.
The shot could be given emergency use authorization by the end of the month, in which case the first doses – likely to be given to health care workers – could start being rolled out in December or January.
If hospitals can be protected from becoming overwhelmed in the coming months, daily deaths could continue to hold steady until a vaccine is available, but colder weather, family holidays and ‘pandemic fatigue’ drive people closer together and indoors.
The grim milestone came on the same day as global coronavirus cases exceeded 50 million.
The United states has reported about a million cases in the past 10 days, the highest rate of infections since the nation reported its first novel coronavirus case in Washington state 293 days ago.
The U.S. latest reported seven-day average of 108,498 daily cases, ramped up by at least 29 percent, is more than the combined average for India and France, two of the worst affected countries in Asia and Europe.
More than 237,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 since the illness caused by the coronavirus first emerged in China late last year.
The daily average of reported new deaths in the United States account for one in every 11 deaths reported worldwide each day, according to a Reuters analysis.
The number of reported deaths nationwide climbed by more than 1,000 for a fifth consecutive day on Saturday, a trend last seen in mid-August, according to a Reuters tally.
The populous state of Texas accounts for 10% of all coronavirus cases across the US. Its governor is toe-to-toe with county judges over the imposition of restrictions in struggling areas like El Paso, where mobile morgues and Air Force medical teams are attempting to help handle the overflow of hospitalized patients and dead bodies
Health experts say deaths tend to increase four to six weeks after a surge in infections.
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, who spent much of his election campaign criticizing President Donald Trump´s handling of the pandemic, pledged on Saturday to make tackling the pandemic a top priority.
Biden will announce a 12-member task force on Monday to deal with the pandemic that will be led by former surgeon general Vivek Murthy and former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler.
The coronavirus task force will be charged with developing a blueprint for containing the disease once Biden takes office in January.
The Midwest remains the hardest-hit region based on the most cases per capita with North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska the top five worst-affected U.S. states.
Illinois emerged as the new epicentre in the Midwest, with the state reporting over 60,000 COVID-19 infections in the last seven days, the highest in the country, according to Reuters data.
The state reported more than 12,454 new cases on Saturday, the highest single-day number so far.
Texas, which accounts for 10 percent of total U.S. cases, is the hardest-hit state and became the first to surpass a million coronavirus cases in the United States on Saturday.
Wisconsin has remained a COVID-19 hotspots for weeks, with nearly 282,000 total cases and 2,392 deaths to-date
Utah’s governor issued a mask mandate and other restrictions on Monday as the state announced another 2,247 cases Monday
According to a Reuters analysis, the South region comprises nearly 43 percent of all the cases in the United States since the pandemic began, with nearly 4.3 million cases in the region alone, followed by the Midwest, West and Northeast.
New York, with over 33,000 fatalities, remains the state with highest number of deaths and accounts for about 14 percent of total U.S. deaths.
The United States performed about 10.5 million coronavirus tests in the first seven days of November, of which 6.22 percent came back positive, compared with 6.17 percent the prior seven-days, according to data from The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak.
The announcement that Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine has prevented more than 90 percent of infections in trials sent the stock market soaring on hopes that a preventive is on the way.
But President-Elect Joe Biden urged patience, and said that the vaccines will not be available soon enough to carry the U.S. through the dreaded cold months when experts anticipate even further case surges.
BIDEN URGES CAUTION AND MASKING DESPITE WORLDWIDE EXCITEMENT OVER PFIZER’S CORONAVIRUS VACCINE BREAKTHROUGH
President-elect Biden warned on Monday that the United States is still ‘facing a very dark winter’ and says a COVID-19 vaccine likely won’t be available for months despite Pfizer’s promising news.
Pfizer, which developed a vaccine with German drugmaker BioNTech, are the first to release successful data based on an interim analysis from a large-scale coronavirus vaccine clinical trial.
Just hours after Pfizer’s announcement, Biden made remarks from Wilmington, Delaware saying that a coronavirus vaccine approval process must be guided by science so the public can have confidence it is safe and effective.
He warned the country was still facing a very dark winter and and urged Americans to wear a mask.
‘I implore you, wear a mask. Do it for yourself. Do it for your neighbor. A mask is not a political statement but it is a good way to start pulling the country together,’ Biden said.
‘The head of the CDC warned this fall, for the foreseeable future a mask remains the most potent weapon against the virus. Today’s news doesn’t change that urgent reality.’
President-elect Joe Biden said Monday that ‘this election is over.’ With it, he asked that the politicization of mask-wearing and social distancing end
The president-elect said that another 200,000 Americans could die from COVID-19 before a vaccine is widely available.
His tone was noticeably tamer than President Donald Trump’s and others across the world amid news of vaccine results.
‘I won’t be president until January 20, but my message today is to everyone, is this, it doesn’t matter who you voted for, where you stood before Election Day, it doesn’t matter your party, your point of view, we can save tens of thousands of lives if everyone would just wear a mask for the next few months. Not Democrat or Republican lives, American lives,’ Biden said.
‘Maybe we’d save the life of the person who stocks the shelf at your local grocery store, maybe it saves the life of a member of your place of worship, maybe it saves the life of one of your children’s teachers, maybe it saves your life,’ he said.
‘So please, I implore you, wear a mask.
‘The goal of mask-wearing is not to make your life less comfortable or take something away from you. It’s to give something back to all of us: a normal life. The goal is to get back to normal, as fast as possible. And masks are critical in doing that.’
Address: Joe Biden urged Americans to wear a mask in an impassioned plea, with Kamala Harris, the vice president-elect, at his side wearing one herself
‘We are Americans and our country is under threat.’
Biden’s comments came soon after his transition team unveiled members of Biden’s coronavirus working group who are tasked with developing his administration’s pandemic response.
The board will be led by former Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler and Yale University public health care expert Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith.
Biden is starting his transition plans as the pandemic climbs to a new high point. Over the past two weeks, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has risen nearly 65 percent: The 7-day rolling average for daily new cases in the US went from 66,294 on October 25 to 108,736.7 on November 8.
President Donald Trump, who is yet to concede after losing to Joe Biden, tweeted on Monday: ‘Stock market up big, big vaccine coming soon. Report 90% effective. Such great news!’
In its announcement today, Pfizer said the results of the interim analysis came after a discussion with the FDA. It is not yet clear exactly what those discussions involved or when they occurred.
The company only said that, based on those discussions, they had opted to conduct the interim analysis based on a minimum of 62 cases instead of an initial 32 case figure. The cases relate to the number of the 44,000 people involved in the trial that have contracted COVID-19. The 90 percent rate ended up being based on 94 cases.
Revealing such early data is unusual in a clinical trial and it wasn’t immediately clear why Pfizer opted to announce the early findings today. Pfizer’s CEO and its head of vaccine research immediately sought to distance themselves from the timing of the announcement, insisting they weren’t being driven by politics.
The Trump administration has paid $1.95 billion for 100 million initial doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Pfizer says it could have up to 50 million doses available by the end of this year if approved.
Shares in the US drugmaker were up 9 percent and global markets also rocketed with the Dow soaring 1,200 points following the announcement. Trump, who is yet to concede in the election, celebrated the news, tweeting: ‘Stock market up big, big vaccine coming soon. Report 90% effective. Such great news!’.
President-elect Biden cheered the promising vaccine results on the same day his transition team unveiled members of his coronavirus working group tasked with developing his administration’s pandemic response.
Biden said his public health advisers had been informed of the news last night but that an end to the COVID-19 battle was still months away.
‘This news follows a previously announced timeline by industry officials that forecast vaccine approval by late November. Even if that is achieved, and some American are vaccinated later this year, it will be many more months before there is widespread vaccination in this country,’ Biden said.
He urged Americans to continue to wear masks and social distance.
‘Today’s news does not change this urgent reality,’ he said.