The US officially surpassed 4 million registered COVID-19 cases on Thursday, with the addition of 1 million new cases in the past 15 days, according to Johns Hopkins University.
According to federal health officials, the actual number of cases is likely to be much higher.
“Our best estimate at this time is that for every case that was reported, there were in fact 10 other infections,” Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said last month.
More than 143,700 people have died from the virus in the United States – nearly twice as much as Brazil, the country with the second highest death toll.
The milestone comes as 59,600 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in the US on Wednesday, about 300 less than the country’s peak in mid-April, according to the Covid Tracking Project. While New York was the hot spot of the country early in the pandemic, California, Texas and Florida have emerged as new problem areas, with California outnumbering New York as the state in most cases.
“We have essentially made two months of progress with what we see in a number of cases … in the United States,” Dr. Ali Khan, Dean of the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s College of Public Health, CNN said.
The reported count is accelerating, with the national seven-day average of new daily cases reaching a record 67,429 on Wednesday. It took the country nearly 100 days to count the first 1 million cases, from January 21 to April 28, although many cases were not diagnosed when tests were scarcer in the early days of the pandemic.
President Trump on Tuesday said the virus is probably ‘getting worse before it gets better’. He also insisted on wearing masks, as at least 41 states have now prescribed facials.
“America’s youth will act responsibly and we ask everyone that if you are unable to distance yourself socially, wear a mask. Get a mask,” Trump said. “Whether you like the mask or not, they have a impact, they have an effect and we need everything we can get. “
At least 27 states have interrupted or reversed their reopening plans, while some hope that mask wear, social distance and restrictive gatherings can replace the second lockdowns.
“Masks will help, but I think we need much more than masks to help control this epidemic that runs through our country like a freight train,” said William Haseltine, president and president of the global think tank ACCESS Health International, CNN said.
“Until we see major behavioral changes and until we see health services stepping forward with much more resources here, we are not sure we can limit this.”