A medical staff member treats a patient suffering from COVID-19 in the intensive care unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston on Oct. 31.
The U.S. has topped 100,000 new coronavirus cases for the fourth consecutive day, a worrying trend ahead of an expected winter resurgence.
There were at least 126,156 new COVID-10 cases reported Saturday, according to the New York Times coronavirus tracker, with 1,013 new deaths. The daily new-case total is just shy of the record 132,797 cases reported Friday, according to Times data.
The past week has averaged 106,972 new cases a day, according to the Times, a 57% jump from a week earlier. Before Wednesday, no country had ever logged as many as 100,000 new cases in a day.
Deaths averaged more than 800 a day in the first week of November, the Times found, a sharp increase from recent months but still below the worst days of April.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, told CNBC on Friday that the true caseload is likely much higher.
“Remember 120,000 cases aren’t 120,000 cases. We’re probably, at best, diagnosing one in five cases right now, maybe a little bit less than that, so this is at least half a million cases a day, probably more in terms of actual numbers of infection,” he told CNBC’s “Closing Bell.”
“I think that this is going to explode in several weeks,” Gottlieb added. “You have to be really worried what January is going to look like, what December is going to look like right now given the way this is rising.”
President-elect Joe Biden plans to announce Monday a task force of scientific advisers and experts to lead the pandemic response for his incoming administration.
“That plan will be built on bedrock science. … I’ll spare no effort, none, or any commitment, to turn around this pandemic,” Biden said in a victory speech Saturday night.
As part of his plan, Biden intends to push for a national face-mask mandate, guarantee paid sick leave and caregiving leave, more transparent tracking of the virus, preserving and bolstering Obamacare, and offering free COVID-19 tests for all Americans.
That stands in stark contrast to the Trump administration’s response. Just last month, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNN, “We are not going to control the pandemic.” Meadows himself tested positive for the coronavirus last week.
As of Sunday afternoon, the U.S. has recorded 9,937,709 coronavirus cases and 237, 484 deaths, both the most in the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The global toll stands at more than 50 million infections and 1.2 million deaths.