The United States reported 83,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Friday -- the highest single-day total in the U.S. and the world since the pandemic began in January.
CNN said this total far surpasses the country's previous one-day high of 77,362, reported July 16, according to the prestigious Johns Hopkins University. Data from Johns Hopkins University confirmed previous estimates from media outlets indicating a record-high daily case toll Thursday.
Before Johns Hopkins revealed the record case number, NBC News reported 77,640 new cases Thursday, up from the previous record of 75,723 on July 29. NBC said this number was a record-breaking daily tally. Its tracker reported total COVID-19 cases in the U.S. at nearly 8.5 million with 224,280 deaths Thursday. It said there were 921 coronavirus-related deaths this day.
Reacting to the record 80,000 new cases, Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota, warned this grim toll will keep increasing. He again said the U.S. is "just entering the darkest days" of the pandemic.
He looked back at Labor Day on September 7 when there were 32,000 daily cases in the U.S. Osterholm again reiterated a previous prediction where he said the U.S. will "hit six figure numbers in the number of cases" while dealing with a "precipitous rise in deaths in next few weeks."
He partly blamed the historic rise on "pandemic fatigue" but wryly noted, while Americans appear tired of the virus, "the pandemic isn't tired of dealing with them," he said on CNN.
Osterholm called on Americans to keep staying apart, or social distancing, to wear masks, and to hand wash until a vaccine becomes widely available to the American public by the second or third quarter of 2021.
He again pointed out Asian countries have basically beaten back the virus. The U.S. can learn from their experience, he said.
The unwanted jump confirms urgent warnings by health experts of a second wave and twindemic triggering record spikes in cases and deaths, especially with the onset of colder weather.
The ongoing nationwide surge belies President Donald Trump's patently false claims the country is rounding the corner of the pandemic.
A report released on Wednesday by Columbia University estimated that anywhere from 130,000 and 210,000 COVID-19 deaths could have been avoided in the Trump administration had followed the advice of its own health experts. It condemned Trump's response to the pandemic as an "enormous failure."
"The weight of this enormous failure ultimately falls to the leadership at the White House - and among a number of state governments - which consistently undercut the efforts of top officials at the CDC and HHS," said the report said.
Along with the record daily new cases and almost 1,000 daily deaths, the number of COVID-19 patients in U.S. hospitals has hit a two-month high.
There are now over 40,000 hospitalized coronavirus patients across the country, up 33% from Oct. 1, according to Reuters.