Now battling a coronavirus "Second Wave," the United States on Friday became the first and only country in the world to record eight million confirmed COVID-19 cases.
The U.S. still leads the world in total numbers of cases and deaths (218,000), based on the tally from Johns Hopkins University.
With only four percent of the world's population, the U.S. still accounts for some 20% of total cases and deaths. There were more than 39 million cases and 1.1 million deaths globally as of Friday. The U.S. recorded its first case of the coronavirus on January 21.
The U.S. health community blames President Donald Trump and his denial of the severity of the pandemic, and the absence of a national plan to control the outbreak, for the oversized case and death toll in the U.S. due to "Trump's virus."
Only three other countries have one million total cases: India (7.4 million); Brazil (5.2 million) and Russia (1.4 million).
Trump's failure to get ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic has seen the U.S. lead in attaining unrivalled numbers of cases:
- 1 million cases on April 28
- 2 million cases on June 11
- 3 million cases on July 8
- 4 million cases on July 23
- 5 million cases on Aug. 9
- 6 million cases on Aug. 31
- 7 million cases on Sept. 25
- 8 million cases on Oct.16
The U.S. is about to see a sharp increase in cases and deaths due to the convergence of the colder summer and winter seasons, and the flu season, which normally starts October.
It's now on the losing end of a crippling Second Wave that has states seeing huge increases unlike anything they've experienced before. More than 63,000 cases throughout the country were reported Thursday, a total last seen in July.
At least 32 states are being battered by a steep jump in new COVID-19 cases compared to the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Another 15 states are showing steady trends while only three states (Louisiana, Kentucky and Vermont) are showing a downward trend in cases.
"It's not a joke when we say we swim in COVID," said Dr. Scott Samlan, an emergency room doctor in Hammond, Indiana to CBS. "I think the scary part for a lot of us is that we don't know how any individual is going to handle COVID," he said.
Indiana reeled Thursday from a record number of cases. Other states in the Midwest are also reporting grim numbers. In Kansas City, Missouri, eight hospitals are now turning away patients.
Michigan reports more than 1,000 COVID-19 patients in its hospitals for the first time since May. In North Dakota, just 22 ICU beds are available in the entire state. New Mexico is groaning from a second straight day of record-breaking cases and hospitalizations.
"We're not succeeding at combating the virus," said New Mexico Governor Lujan Grisham (D). "This is the most serious emergency that New Mexico has ever faced."
In Ohio, new cases are at their highest rate since the pandemic began. Twenty-nine of its counties are now under the highest state of alert.
"There's a red tide flowing all over the state of Ohio," said Governor Mike DeWine (R).