On Thursday, the U.S. surpassed its previous high of single-day reported COVID-19 infections with 89,940 cases. It was not the only milestone breached on October 29: With the boost from the new daily record, the total number of cases in the United States reached 9 million since the beginning of the pandemic, according to the New York Times.
With the president boasting of the nation “rounding the corner” and his chief of staff admitting that the administration is “not going to control the pandemic,” the coronavirus is spreading at a tremendous clip in many American states. The positive testing rate, a key metric to understanding community spread of the virus, is also reaching record highs throughout the country, with a rate of 31.5 percent in Wisconsin, 34.8 percent in Iowa, and 43.4 percent in South Dakota. (For a little international context, the positive testing rate in France recently breached 10 percent and the nation has instituted a month-long lockdown in which adults can only leave their homes to buy essential goods, seek medical attention, or exercise for up to an hour.) Considering this unmitigated spread throughout the country, the daily record will almost certainly go up in the coming weeks.
Though cases are skyrocketing in western Europe, the United States remains the highest single nation for daily new cases and leads the next closest country in total infections —India — by close to one million cases. The New York Times reports that the U.S. has clocked over 500,00 cases in the past week alone, while close to two dozen states reported new daily caseloads in the past week.
Throughout the pandemic, deaths have lagged behind cases, though the country has once again breached 1,000 deaths for the second day in a row. On Thursday, the president’s son and campaign surrogate Donald Trump Jr. said on Fox News that if viewers went to his Instagram page, they would see that the number of Americans dying from the virus is now “almost nothing.”