Oct 30, 2020 15:42 UTC
  • US faces record surge of coronavirus cases as election looms

The United States faces a record surge of coronavirus cases as more than 90,000 people tested positive on Thursday, pushing hospitals to the brink of capacity.

This marks the first time the US has crossed 90,000 cases in one day, nearly 10,000 more than the previous high of 80,662 cases set just a day before on Wednesday.

The country reported at least 91,248 new cases Thursday with 21 states reporting their highest daily number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients since the pandemic started.

Also, over 1,000 people lost their lives due to the infection on Thursday, marking the third time in October that milestone has been passed in a single day.

"If states do not react to rising numbers by re-imposing mandates, cumulative deaths could reach 514,000 by the same date," said the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine in its latest forecast.

Meanwhile, Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health in Providence, Rhode Island, said the US is not “quite prepared” as it does not have the right kind of testing.

“We are having some of the largest outbreaks that we’ve had during the entire pandemic. And nine, 10 months into this pandemic, we are still largely not quite prepared,” Jha said.

This comes as much of the country’s attention is focused on Tuesday’s presidential election.

Republican President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly downplayed the virus, is under harsh criticism over his mishandling of the pandemic which has made the US the hardest-hit country by the infection.