On Wednesday — for the second straight day — the U.S. set a new record in single-day deaths linked to COVID-19.
According to a database kept by Johns Hopkins University, 3,865 people died of COVID-19 throughout the country on Wednesday. That tops the previous record of 3,775 single day COVID-19 deaths, which was set on Tuesday.
According to Johns Hopkins, there have been four days in the past week in which the U.S. has recorded more than 3,000 COVID-19 deaths. For context, 2,977 people died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.
According to the COVID Tracking Project — which tallies COVID-19 deaths using different methods than Johns Hopkins — the rolling seven-day average of deaths linked to the virus sits at 2,636.
Officials fear that COVID-19 deaths will continue to rise in the coming days, due to an increase in travel during Christmas and New Year’s.
New cases of COVID-19 and deaths linked to the virus spiked in the weeks following a surge in travel for Thanksgiving. According to the COVID Tracking Project, the rolling seven day average of COVID-19 deaths leaped up from 1,568 to 2,354 in the two weeks following Thanksgiving.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, fears the U.S. could be poised to experience a “surge on top of a surge” of the virus at a time when hospitals across the country are already overwhelmed.
Since the start of the pandemic, Johns Hopkins reports that more than 361,000 people have died of the virus — a total that leads all other countries around the world. No other country has recorded more than 200,000 deaths, and only three others — Brazil, India and Mexico — have recorded at least 100,000 deaths.
According to Johns Hopkins, 21 million Americans have contracted the virus. The only other country with at least 10 million confirmed cases India.