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Americans defy pandemic as US COVID cases set new record


American passengers wait to check in at Tom Bradley international terminal at LAX airport, as the global outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Los Angeles, California, US, on November 23, 2020. (Photo by Reuters)

Americans have defied pleas from officials to stay home for the Thanksgiving holiday amid record-breaking COVID-19 cases in recent days.

The US has recorded 2.3 million new infections in the past two weeks, adding an average of 173,000 new daily virus cases.

As millions of Americans traveled for Thanksgiving, more than 2,100 Covid-19 fatalities were reported in the US on Tuesday - the highest one-day death toll in the country since early May.

Hospitalizations from the coronavirus also increased dramatically over the past two weeks, reaching a record of more than 89,000 on Wednesday.

US President-elect Joe Biden joined in the calls for safety, urging people to take steps to remain safe over the Thanksgiving holiday and avoid big family gatherings.

"Life is going to return to normal. I promise you. This will happen. This will not last forever," The Democratic former vice president said.

Biden again said he would take immediate steps to address the coronavirus pandemic when he takes office on January 20. During the campaign, Biden accused Donald Trump of panicking and surrendering in the face of a public health crisis.

"I know the country has grown weary of the fight. We need to remember - weíre at war with the virus" Biden noted.

Nearly one million American passengers a day have been screened at US airport security checkpoints for the past week.

Sundayís total of 1.047 million was the highest number since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-March.

"Itís tough. Itís a big holiday in the US, Thanksgiving. But with the situation that weíre in right now, it just seems like the safe play is to not come to the airport, to not travel," Los Angeles International Airport spokesman Charles Pannunzio said.

November is already the worst month recorded for at least 2,000 US counties as more than 40 states have seen a sustained increase in coronavirus cases over the last few weeks.

Last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nationís top infectious disease experts, warned US residents against travelling and said that the increased use of airports over the Thanksgiving period is "going to get us into even more trouble than weíre in right now".

According to Johns Hopkins University, there are now more than 12.5 million people in the US who have tested positive for the virus. More than 261,000 Americans have died from COVID-19.

The United States leads the world in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

 

LINK: https://www.ansarpress.com/english/21171


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