U.S. reported more COVID-19 cases in November than most countries had all year

Coronavirus

(CBS) — The United States reported more than 4 million coronavirus cases in November, which is higher than the total number of cases seen all year by any country in the world except India and Brazil. Public health experts are warning that the U.S. will keep seeing record-breaking numbers in the final month of 2020.

Since the pandemic began, the U.S. has seen more than 13.3 million confirmed cases and about 267,000 deaths, by far the highest numbers in the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The United States accounts for nearly 20% of the global death toll.

India has recorded 9.4 million cases and Brazil has 6.3 million, according to Johns Hopkins data. Other nations with the highest case counts — including Russia, France, Spain and the United Kingdom — have between 1.6 million and 2.3 million. There have been a total of 62.8 million confirmed cases and 1.4 million deaths worldwide.

The U.S. in November set several grim new records in the pandemic. It surpassed 100,000 daily cases for the first time on November 4, and then more than 200,000 daily cases for the first time on November 28. The nation also passed 90,000 coronavirus hospitalizations for the first time. Hospitals in many communities are at or near capacity and have raised alarms about being overwhelmed as demand continues to grow.

November 24 was the deadliest day of the pandemic since May, with more than 2,100 coronavirus deaths nationwide. About half of the 50 states reported their highest daily toll for the virus, as many states reintroduced restrictions or added new ones to try to contain the spread. 

The month also brought encouraging news about vaccines, with three candidates reported to be more than 90% effective, and the first U.S. vaccinations expected to begin in December once the FDA grants emergency authorization. Health care workers would be among the first to get vaccinated. 

Moncef Slaoui, leader of the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed vaccine effort, said there could be enough doses for 25 to 30 million Americans a month in 2021.

But the U.S. is poised to see even worse days in the pandemic before a vaccine is widely available. The CDC said the U.S. death toll could hit 321,000 by the middle of December. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, warned that more spikes will come after millions of people traveled for Thanksgiving — something public health officials advised Americans to avoid.

“We may see a surge upon a surge,” Fauci told ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday. “We don’t want to frighten people, but that’s just the reality.”

First published on November 30, 2020 / 12:19 PM

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