US tops 20 million confirmed coronavirus cases on New Year’s Day

U.S.

A man (L) arrives at a coronavirus testing site without wearing a facemask in Los Angeles, California on December 16, 2020. – The situation has grown severe across southern parts of California, which was praised for its response at the start of the pandemic in spring, but which has seen Covid-related hospital admissions soar sixfold since mid-October. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)

(NewsNation Now) — More than 20 million cases of the coronavirus have now been reported in the United States, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The country topped 20 million on New Year’s Day, beginning a new year with a dark reminder of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

America exceeded the mark Friday, less than a week after the country reached 19 million cases.  It took 347 days for the US to hit the 20 million mark since the first case was diagnosed in Washington state on Jan. 20, 2020.

This new number comes just one day after historically scaled-back holiday celebrations. Warnings from health professionals pleading for a virtual Christmas dulled traditional holiday activities.

While the New Year brought hopes of new vaccination with the FDA’s emergency approval of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the US fell short of its 2020 vaccination goal.

Operation Warp Speed’s original goal was to have 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine distributed by the end of 2020. But Operation Warp Speed said this week an estimated 15.6 million doses was expected to be distributed and in the hands of states and local health department.

There have been more than 345,000 reported deaths in the United States according to Johns Hopkins. Globally there have been more than 83.3 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 1.8 million deaths associated with the virus.

The U.S. accounts for about 4% of the world’s population, but the country has eclipsed other nations in coronavirus cases by more than 9 million and COVID-19 deaths by over 151,000. India and Brazil trail behind the U.S. in coronavirus cases at over 10 million and 7 million, respectively.

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