The United States surpassed 12 million Covid-19 cases Saturday, according to the Johns Hopkins University real-time tracker.
The world’s largest economy currently has 12,019,960 cases and 255,414 deaths, both by far the worst global tolls. The new toll comes just six days after the US crossed the 11-million case threshold.
Cases have been surging in the US at an alarming rate, forcing many cities to re-impose punishing lockdown measures.
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Health authorities have urged people to stay home for next week’s Thanksgiving holiday, when Americans usually travel from coast to coast to be with their families.
New York City has shut down schools for its 1.1 million students, while California began imposing a 10:00 pm to 5:00 am curfew from Saturday.
Chicago — the US’ third-largest city — has been under stay-at-home orders since Monday.
On Friday, President Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, announced he had tested positive for Covid-19 and is quarantining.
His positive test follows infections for a string of others connected to the White House, including his father, who was hospitalized, the president’s wife Melania and Trump’s youngest son Barron.
President Trump’s administration has been heavily criticized for its response to the pandemic and for downplaying the dangers.
On Monday, President-elect Joe Biden expressed frustration over Trump’s refusal to cooperate on the White House transition process, saying “more people may die” of coronavirus without immediate coordination on fighting the pandemic.
There is, however, a new sign of hope: US biotech giant Pfizer and German partner BioNTech announced Friday they will seek approval to roll out their coronavirus vaccine early.