United States of America saw the record number of new coronavirus infections for a second day in a row on Friday, with more than 94,000 cases reported just days before voters decide whether Donald Trump should remain in the White House.
AFP reports that the skyrocketing caseload helped push the US tally past the 9 million cases reported since the pandemic began, while Europe hit 10 million and France enter a new lock.
The escalating pandemic is forcing other countries to consider following suit – but Trump has promised the US will not be among them if he wins a second term on Tuesday.
The US set a daily record for new infections on Friday, charting more than 94,000 in 24 hours according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University – just one day after the previous high of 91,000.
Hospitals across the country are bracing for cases soaring in nearly every state and winter flu season looming.
But on the campaign trail Trump, who says the virus will “disappear”, remains opposed.
“We just want to be normal,” he told supporters – many of them unmasked – at an outdoor rally near Detroit as he pushed the state to loosen public health restrictions and get on with everyday life.
He went back against his own administration’s health experts and fired the more than 229,000 Americans who have died from Covid-19, saying: “If you get it, you will get better, and then you will be immune. “
Democratic candidate Joe Biden, who is seeking to turn the November 3 election into a referendum on handling Trump’s pandemic, has accused his Republican rivals of succumbing to the virus.
“It is a serious indictment against a presidential record as can be imagined, and it is utterly disqualifying,” he said in a statement on Friday.
Virus fears also hit Wall Street, which suffered its worst week and month since March on Friday with another session of losses as markets prepare for elections.
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