US coronavirus cases surge past 9 million with infections on the rise in 47 states

The US surpassed nine million coronavirus cases as the pandemic surged in 47 states. Latest figures from John Hopkins University show the country’s death toll at almost 230,000, ahead of Brazil’s 158,000 and India’s 121,000 deaths.

It took just 15 days for the country’s case total to rise from eight to nine million, with the largest single-day tally since the start of the pandemic recorded on Thursday with 89,000 cases.

“With or without the vaccine we’re rounding the turn,” Mr Trump said at a campaign rally in Wisconsin as the case total ticked over to new highs.  “Our vaccine will eradicate the virus, end the pandemic and quickly restore normal life.”

Infections were on the rise across the country, with large increases driven by surges in Midwest states including Illinois, Ohio, and Iowa, while South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, Oklahoma and Wisconsin seeing new highs in reported deaths, according to the figures.

During a campaign stop in Iowa on Friday, Joe Biden said Mr Trump had waved the white flag and “surrendered to the virus”.

“But the American people don’t give up,” he told the crowd at a drive-in rally. “I’m going to hold China accountable — which he hasn’t, from the start of the pandemic.»

Dr Anthony Fauci, the White House’s infectious disease expert, said this week that the increasing number of cases were due to the varied reopening responses of the states.

«It was like a free-for-all,» Dr Fauci said.

Dr Irwin Redlener, of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University, said the inconsistency of the government’s response has been frustrating efforts to control the spread.

“If we had just been disciplined about employing all these public health methods early and aggressively, we would not be in the situation we are in now,” Dr Redlener told the Associated Press.

Estimating that 130,000 deaths could have been avoided if the country embraced masks and social distancing, Dr Redlener questioned how Mr Trump “didn’t understand how many people followed his advice” and said the president has “blood on his hands.”

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