On Wednesday, the United States reported a record 2,804 deaths from the coronavirus, the single-worst daily death toll from the pandemic yet. The number, which is expected to rapidly climb as winter deepens, surpasses the country’s previous peak of 2,607 deaths recorded on April 15 during the first wave of the pandemic, according to John Hopkins’ COVID tracker.
It’s a devastating milestone. As CNN noted, the US is losing more people each day than other countries, including Japan, have lost throughout the entire pandemic. The single-day death toll easily exceeds the number of people killed in the Pearl Harbor assault and is poised to soon surpass the nation’s death toll from the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Hospitalizations and infection rates across the US are also continuing to break records. “The time for debating whether or not masks work or not is over; we clearly have scientific evidence,” Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said on Wednesday, warning that the winter season will see the “most difficult time in the public history of this nation.”
.@CDCDirector: "December and January and February are going to be rough times. I actually believe they’re going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation, largely because of the stress that it’s going to put on our health care system.” pic.twitter.com/L7fWT4CiCk
— CSPAN (@cspan) December 2, 2020
But even as the country approaches this unimaginably difficult winter, promising news on the vaccine front continues apace. This week, the United Kingdom became the first country to authorize a COVID-19 vaccine, and the US is likely to follow in the days ahead. Former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton have said that they are all willing to take the vaccine on television in order to boost public confidence in its safety.
Meanwhile, the country’s lame-duck president yesterday posted a bizarre, 40-minute long video packed with dangerous, entirely false claims of election fraud that barely made mention of the pandemic or its death toll. Other Trump administration officials are busy making plans to pack 900 guests into the White House for indoor Christmas parties.