Health care worker facilitating drive-thru testing (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Defender News Service

As Election Day nears, hospitals are being pushed to capacity levels as a record surge of coronavirus cases in the United States is killing up to 1,000 people a day, according to the latest figures.

The United States recorded its 9 millionth case on Friday, or close to 3% of the population. According to a Reuters tally of publicly reported date, that means nearly 229,000 dead since the pandemic hit early this year.

In spite of periods of reduced infection rates and deaths, the nation recently broke its single-day record for new coronavirus infections with 91,248 on Thursday. The day after, Friday, 12 states reporting a record number of new daily cases. That same day, President Donald Trump intimated that the COVID death numbers weren’t accurate because doctors were being paid $2,000 for every COVID-19 death. Heath care professionals nationally have reacted in horror to Trump’s salacious claims.

In spite of Trump’s claims, hospitals in six states reported having the most patients suffering from the disease since the pandemic started. In October, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients rose over 50% to 46,000, the highest since mid-August.

Ironically, in relation to Trump’s comments, the most hotly contested states in the campaign between he and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, such as Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, age predicted by e the most hardest hit by those latest surge, a surge predicted by several medical professionals, including Dr. Anthony Fauci.

The University of Washington’s newly updated model projects the death toll will start climbing next month toward a new record of more than 72,000 in January 2021. The death toll had been holding at a monthly pace of just over 22,000 for most of October. Moreover, the January death toll projection, if it holds true, would far surpass the nearly 61,000 fatalities in April when the pandemic first exploded in the United States.

“Our hospitals cannot keep up with Utah’s infection rate. You deserve to understand the dire situation we face,” said Utah Governor Gary Herbert via Twitter. Hebert’s words were echoed by officials and health experts in other states.

Trump has repeatedly played down the virus, saying for consistently that the country is “rounding the turn,” even though the reality of new cases and hospitalizations soaring contradict his claims. Also consistent has been Biden’s criticism of the president for his handling of the health crisis.