Miranda Bryant reports:
The US has recorded more than 1m new coronavirus cases in just the past 10 days as the national total soared past 10m cases amid a widespread surge – while Texas on Wednesday became the first to record a million cases as a state.
The soaring figures came as experts warned that even though successful vaccines are coming into view the White House appears to be doing little to contain a pandemic increasingly out of control.
“In the last couple of months you have seen the federal government basically throw in the towel,” Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health told NBC on Wednesday morning.
He added: “There’s been no new guidance, very little effort coming from the federal government and I think that is definitely contributing to a nationwide surge.”
Daily cases for the country have steadily climbed throughout November to record a total of 1,129,463 cases in the last 10 days alone, figures from Johns Hopkins University show.
Meanwhile, Texas, America’s second-most populous state, has recorded 1,010,364 cases since the start of the pandemic in March and 19,337 deaths.
No other state has alone reached the 1m figure. And New York, which was the worst Covid-19 hotspot in the world during the initial cascade of US cases in the spring, then used restrictions to squash infections, is now seeing rates creeping up again.
Jha said “people are getting tired” of taking precautions, even as warnings abound about family gatherings in the fast-approaching holiday season becoming spreader events.
He added that with what appears to be the good news that the world is on the cusp of approving successful vaccines, all Americans could expect to be inoculated relatively soon.
“We are about three to six months away from widespread availability of a vaccine, people need to hold on … we’re so close to actually turning the corner on the virus,” he said.
But he warned that in the meantime Americans need to restrict their Thanksgiving plans at the end of November. “This is a bit heartbreaking, because it just can’t be a normal Thanksgiving,” he said.