Carolyn Kaster / AP
President-elect Joe Biden will cut his job.
The US added 126,480 new coronavirus cases on Friday, according to data released Saturday by Johns Hopkins’ Coronavirus Resource Center. This is the third consecutive day the United States has set a daily record, bringing the total number of infections in the country to more than 9.7 million. More than 236,000 people died.
Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have outlined a comprehensive plan to try to control the virus, including the creation of a pandemic testing board to produce and distribute tens of millions of tests, and mobilizes a US public health company of at least 100,000 Americans to help trace contacts and protect at-risk populations.
But it is unclear how effective these steps will be against a virus that is poised to thrive even more as the weather colder and people retreat indoors.
“You have to be really worried about what January will be, what December will be like right now as the situation intensifies,” former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb told CNBC today Friday.
More than half of the countries are seeing the spread of unregulated communities, identified as more than 25 new cases daily per 100,000 people. Nearly 55,000 people were hospitalized Friday with COVID-19, according to the COVID Tracking Project.
“Hospitals are definitely under stress and social measures are still relatively free,” said Dr. David Brett-Major, professor of epidemiology at the University of Nebraska. The New York Times. “You just don’t get the feeling that people are committed to taking it seriously.”
The challenge of stopping the latest rise in cases reached the White House, with news late Friday that President Trump’s Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, tested positive for coronavirus. Meadows was the newest member of the viral presidential circle. Many White House employees and campaign assistants have tested positive for coronavirus in recent weeks and the president was hospitalized for COVID-19 in October.
Although the US is the world leader in coronavirus infection, other countries are catching up. Many European countries have grown exponentially in recent weeks. The national door lock is in effect in a number of countries there, including the UK, Greece and Italy. Virus spread charts in France, Poland and Germany all show classic hockey stick charts, showing the virus is in control.
France had the second highest infection rate in the world on Friday, with 60,727 cases and 828 deaths. Nursing homes in France alone have seen more than 400 COVID-19 deaths in the past week, with some residents once again being cut off from their homes.
“I cry every day,” Patricia Deliry, 81, a Paris nursing home resident, told The Associated Press.
France is among the European countries that have adopted new door lock measures in the face of continued infection. But at least in France, the public doesn’t observe the strict lockdowns that happened during the country’s first lockout in March. According to Le Monde, in the week since the most recent shutdown was introduced, vehicle traffic has decreased by about 30% – compared with a decrease of 80% in the first lock.