In a grim accounting of the coronavirus's progress in the United States, another milestone was reached Wednesday: more than 50,000 new cases reported in a single day.
Johns Hopkins University & Medicine's Coronavirus Resource Center, which tracks the virus worldwide, says the total number of cases reported in the U.S. stands at 2,686,480, an increase of 50,700 over Tuesday's figure. U.S. deaths attributed to the coronavirus stand at 128,062.
Brazil is ranked second in the world behind the United States, with 1,448,753 cases and 60,632 deaths.
In testimony Tuesday before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease specialist, predicted that the number of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. could soon reach 100,000 per day.
Fauci drew an unfavorable comparison between U.S. and European efforts to control the spread of the virus, noting that up to 95% of Europeans were at some point on lockdown, compared with 50% of Americans.
In an interview Wednesday with Mary Louise Kelly on NPR's All Things Considered, Fauci conceded that the federal government's inconsistent early guidance on whether to wear face masks was "detrimental" to containing the virus.
But he said he is encouraged by the growing number of Republican leaders now calling on people to wear masks, including Vice President Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Referring to his Senate testimony the previous day, Fauci said, "It really does not have to be 100,000 cases a day."