WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States (US) saw a record high number of new daily COVID-19 cases for the second day in a row, figures from Johns Hopkins University showed, as warnings grew over its spread.
The country reported 88,973 new infections between 8.30pm on Friday and 8.30pm on Saturday, the figures showed, substantially above the previous day’s 79,963.
A total of 8,568,625 cases have been reported in the US with 224,751 deaths, the highest in the world in absolute terms.
The worst current outbreaks in the country are in the north and midwest, and some 35 of the 50 states are seeing an increase in case numbers.
The number of deaths over 24 hours has remained broadly stable since the beginning of autumn, with between 700 and 800. On Saturday the US recorded 906 deaths, the Johns Hopkins tracker showed. US President Donald Trump has sought to beat back harsh criticism of his handling of the health crisis ahead of the November 3 election, particularly from his Democratic opponent Joe Biden.
On Saturday, former president Barack Obama tore into the Trump White House’s approach to the pandemic, telling a drive-in rally in Florida that “the idea that somehow this White House has done anything but completely screw this thing up is nonsense.”
Trump has sought to play down the virus despite having contracted and recovered from it himself, saying businesses should reopen so the country’s economy can recover.
“This election is a choice between a Trump super-recovery and a Biden depression,” he told supporters in North Carolina on Saturday.