Health Care

U.S. Surpasses 10 Million Coronavirus Cases

Dr. Saulo Castellano labels a nasal swab sample at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in Madison, Wis., October 31, 2020. (Bing Guan/Reuters)

The United States on Monday recorded its ten millionth case of  COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins, with one million cases confirmed in just the past 10 days.

More than 237,000 Americans have died from the virus, while more than 50.6 million people have contracted coronavirus worldwide and 1.25 million have died.

The United States, which is seeing a third wave of the virus, has reported over 100,000 new coronavirus cases every day since last Wednesday, when it recorded a six-digit number of new cases for the first time ever in a single day. One in every 462 people in the U.S. tested positive for COVID-19 in the week leading up to Saturday.

Hospitalizations have risen by 10,000 since October 30, while the seven-day average of deaths from the virus has risen 36 percent in the past three weeks, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

The grim milestone comes the same day that Pfizer and BioNTech announced that their coronavirus vaccine was 90 percent effective according to preliminary data, and that they could request emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration by the end of November.

Also on Monday, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris unveiled their transition COVID-19 advisory board, a team of scientists and health officials who will “help shape” their approach to handling the coronavirus pandemic as they prepare to take office in just 72 days.

“Dealing with the coronavirus pandemic is one of the most important battles our administration will face, and I will be informed by science and by experts,” Biden said in a statement. “The advisory board will help shape my approach to managing the surge in reported infections; ensuring vaccines are safe, effective, and distributed efficiently, equitably, and free; and protecting at-risk populations.”

Responding to Pfizer’s announcement on Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo suggested that it was “bad news” that the vaccine may be distributed under President Trump.

The good news is the Pfizer tests look good and we’ll have a vaccine shortly. The bad news is that it’s about two months before Joe Biden takes over and that means this administration is going to be implementing a vaccine plan,” Cuomo told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America. “The Trump Administration is rolling out the vaccination plan and I believe it’s flawed. I believe it learns nothing from the past.”

Experts have warned a long winter lies ahead as cold winter pushes Americans indoors where the virus is more easily spread.

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