(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — For the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. reported over 2,800 deaths in a single day, the highest number of recorded deaths in a span of 24 hours. This shatters the previous record set on April 15, where 2,609 people reportedly died in a single day from to the novel coronavirus.
COVID-related fatalities in the U.S. surpassed 275,000 as of Thursday. In addition, the nation eclipsed over 14 million cases, says Johns Hopkins University.
With the U.S. reporting more than 180,000 new cases a day — with 200,007 new infections reported Wednesday — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a dire warning that the nation could see well over 300,000 deaths by Christmas should the pace continue.
The CDC predicts an additional 9,500 to 19,500 additional deaths will be recorded between now and December 26 — pushing the nation’s forecasted death toll between 303,000 and 329,000.
CDC Director Robert Redfield also warned that, should the nation continue on the path it’s currently on, nearly half a million Americans will be dead by February. The official number he provided forecasts up to 472,000 fatalities.
Meanwhile, the first vaccine doses from Pfizer and BioNTech have arrived in the United Kingdom, with vials heading to distribution centers across the nation.
High-priority people are expected to be vaccinated next week with the majority of the British population set for vaccination next year.
As for the U.S., Pfizer is seeking emergency authorization from the Food and Drug Administration with a hearing set for December 10.