WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — With nearly twice the cases of any other country in the world, the United States hit 3 million coronavirus cases Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
This follows a day of record numbers Tuesday with more than 60,000 cases nationwide as virus rates continue to surge in the South and West. Wednesday is on track to be another rough day with Florida reporting nearly 10,000 new cases.
On Tuesday, U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci spoke in favor of state and local authorities requiring people to wear masks in public in a bid to curb infection rates.
“What is alarming is the slope of the curve,” Fauci said of cases in Alabama in an online news conference Tuesday with Alabama Sen. Doug Jones. He added, “the signal should be wear a mask, period.”
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump touted the COVID-19 death rate is dropping, while Fauci warned that the U.S. still needs to be cautious.
“It’s a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death,” said Fauci. “There’s so many other things that are very dangerous and bad about this virus. Don’t get yourself into false complacency.”
An updated model from the University of Washington predicts more than 208,000 Americans will die from the virus by Nov. 1, partly because of the surge of cases in California, Florida, Texas and Arizona.
The World Health Organization’s emergencies chief, Dr. Michael Ryan, said the coronavirus is continuing to gain pace globally with daily reported cases rising to 200,000 — double the number of cases reported in April and May. Ryan warned that although the number of COVID-19 deaths appears to be stable now, he warned that a spike in fatalities could soon follow.
The country with the second-highest number of coronavirus cases is Brazil with nearly 1.7 million.
The Associated Press contributed to this report