Coronavirus cases in the U.S. pass four million rapidly
(Reuters) - The total number of coronavirus cases reported in the United States passed 4 million on Thursday, reflecting a rapid acceleration of infections detected in the country since the first case was recorded on Jan. 21, a Reuters tally showed.
It took the country 98 days to reach 1 million cases, but just 16 days to go from 3 million to 4 million, according to the tally. The average number of new U.S. cases is now rising by more than 2,600 every hour, the highest rate in the world.
As the pandemic has spread widely over the country, moving from the early epicenter of New York to the South and West, federal, state and local officials have clashed over how to fight it, including over how and when to ease social and economic restrictions aimed at curbing the infection rate.
Whether to order the wearing of masks, a common practice in the rest of the world and recommended by the federal government’s own health experts, has become highly politicized, with some Republican governors particularly resistant.
Hostility to the idea appeared to be dwindling this week, however, including from the Republican administration of President Donald Trump, who once dismissed mask-wearing as an effort to be politically correct.