The US reported 99,321 new Covid-19 cases on Friday, surpassing its previous record, set just the day before, as the pandemic worsened in almost every corner of the country.
"We have come to a point where the epidemic is accelerating across the country. We are at the beginning of the steep part of the epidemic curve," said Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former commissioner for the US Food and Drug Administration, told CNBC. The News with Shepard Smith "Friday night.
"You will see the cases accelerate in the coming weeks," he said, predicting the peak of the land's recent surge will come around Thanksgiving. Gottlieb said that "December will probably be the toughest month."
According to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the US continues its climb at what is currently the third peak of the pandemic, with cases in 43 states increasing 5% or more as of Friday. There are now more than 9 million reported Covid-19 cases in the United States, adding another 1 million cases in just two weeks, according to Hopkins.
For the past week, the US reported an average of 78,738 new cases per day, the highest ever recorded average of seven days and an increase of nearly 25% compared to a week ago. All five records in daily reported cases were hit within the last eight days, according to Hopkins data.
While the US is running record-breaking tests, that cannot fully explain the recent surge in infections, Adm said. Brett Giroir, assistant health secretary who leads the government's testing efforts, on NBC's "TODAY" show on Wednesday. He added that hospital stays are also increasing and deaths are gradually following, metrics that usually lag behind climbing cases.
As of Friday, 18 states achieved record stays averaging seven days, particularly in the West and Midwest – Iowa, Idaho, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin and, according to the Covid Tracking Project, Wyoming has all of them Hit records achieved.
Although some have dubbed the recent peak a "third wave" in cases, White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, in an interview with SiriusXM's Doctor Radio Reports aired Friday, said the country is still grappling with its original wave of infections.
This is because unlike other countries, at no point in the pandemic did the US report an average of less than 20,000 Covid-19 cases per day, he said. As the outbreak, which originally hit New York and the northeast, subsided in the spring, the American sunbelt states again reported swelling outbreaks and infections in the summer.
"We never got out of the real wave. We went up and down within a wave," he said. "When I hear people talking about the second and third waves, it's really the original wave that just goes up, goes down a little, and goes up again."
The US is now facing daily case numbers that are "extremely high and quite unacceptable," said Fauci. He previously said in early August that the goal would be to bring the daily totals below 10,000 by September. Now experts like Gottlieb are predicting that the US will report 100,000 new cases in the coming days.
"We're in a precarious position for the next weeks to months," Fauci said, urging people to continue wearing face masks, practicing social distancing, washing their hands, avoiding the crowds and spending as much time outdoors as possible spend.