While encouraging news about a coronavirus vaccine was met with excitement Monday, the United States reached yet another grim milestone in the pandemic, a reminder that the public health crisis is worsening.
What You Need To Know
- The United States surpassed 10 million coronavirus cases on Monday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University
- The U.S. has recorded more than 100,000 new cases in each of the past five days, including a new record of 128,412 on Saturday
- Cases are climbing in practically every state, and deaths and hospitalizations are on the rise, too
- The country hit the grim milestone on the same day that Pfizer said early data shows it vaccine candidate is 90% effective
The U.S. has now surpassed 10 million COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The country hit the 9 million mark just 10 days ago, making it the fastest jump of 1 million yet. The U.S. has recorded more than 100,000 new cases in each of the past five days, including a new record of 128,412 on Saturday.
Cases are climbing in practically every state, and deaths and hospitalizations are on the rise, too.
As of Monday, there had been 237,742 virus-related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins. There were more than 1,000 deaths reported five days in the past week.
Meanwhile, nearly 57,000 infected people are currently in American hospitals, the highest number since July 29, according to The COVID Tracking Project.
And the problems are only expected to get worse this fall and winter. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington projects daily deaths will hit nearly 2,700 by January and that the overall dealth toll could approach 400,000 by Jan. 31 unless the country takes new action.
On Sunday, the number of cases worldwide eclipsed 50 million. There have been 1,259,245 deaths from COVID-19 during the pandemic.
The U.S. accounts for about 4.25% of the world’s population but 20% of all coronavirus cases and 19% of COVID-19 deaths.
But there was some rare good news about the virus Monday. Pfizer said early data from its clinical trials show its vaccine candidate is 90% effective. The drugmaker could request emergency-use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration this month, although the vaccine would only be available to front-line health care workers initially.
As cases spike and the wait for a vaccine continues, many areas of the country and imposing new restrictions in an attempt to slow the virus’ spread, although nothing as stringent as the lockdowns the country saw this spring.
Last week, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker issued a stay-at-home order between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. and a public mask mandate even when social distancing is possible.
On Sunday, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert issued orders requiring masks in public and for social gatherings to be limited to people from the same households.
And on Monday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy ordered bars and restaurants to close by 10 p.m. each night.
The pandemic was the top issue in last week’s presidential election. En route to winning the presidency, Joe Biden attacked President Donald Trump for his handling of the virus.
After meeting with his newly assembled coronavirus advisory board Monday, Biden urged Americans to wear masks.
“Do it for yourself. Do it for your neighbor,” the president-elect said. “A mask is not a political statement, but it is a good way to start pulling the country together.”