The United States recorded 2,760 coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, the highest daily death toll since the start of the pandemic.
The toll surpassed the previous peak in April, weeks after much of the United States shut down operations in response to the spread of the coronavirus. The number of patients hospitalized with coronavirus surpassed 100,000 on Wednesday, more than double the highest level set in the spring.
“The reality is that December, January and February are going to be tough times,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Robert Redfield told Congress on Wednesday morning before the last data was recorded. “I actually believe it will be the most difficult time in the history of public health in this country.”
Redfield added: “The mortality issues are real, and I think, unfortunately, by the time we see February, we could be nearly 450,000 Americans” dead from the coronavirus.
More than 14 million Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, or about four percent of the country’s population. Of those who tested positive, two percent – 275,000 patients – died. The latest epidemic is spreading through rural areas from the country.
The Food and Drug Administration is set to grant emergency clearance for the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine later this month. Moncef Slaoui, co-director of the Trump administration’s vaccine development program, Operation Warp Speed, said on Wednesday that the vaccine supply from Pfizer and Moderna could allow significant inoculations over the coming months.
By February “we will have potentially vaccinated 100 million people, which is really roughly the size of the significant at-risk population: the elderly, health workers, frontline workers, people with co-morbidities “, Slaoui said at a press conference.