US coronavirus cases pass 11 million with 1m in just one week as Donald Trump plays golf

President Donald Trump playing golf at the Trump National Golf Club in Virginia

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The US has hit another grim milestone in the fight against coronavirus as 11 million Americans have now been infected by the deadly disease – and one million of those in the last week alone.

Infection rates are soaring and the country's death toll – by far the worst in the world – is approaching 250,000.

The sobering figures come amid an ongoing political crisis, with President Donald Trump still refusing to concede victory to presidential election winner Joe Biden.

Instead he's sticking to his beloved golf course – where he was pictured again on Sunday – and tweeting baseless conspiracy theories about how the election was "stolen" from him.

President-elect Joe Biden is setting up his own coronavirus task force

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Daily infections in the US have more than doubled from single-day highs during the previous peak in mid-July, and the number of  Covid-19 hospital patients has reached an all-time high.

Forty states have reported record increases in cases in November, while 20 saw a record rise in deaths and 26 reported record hospitalizations.

The latest 7-day average shows the United States is reporting more than 144,000 daily cases and 1,120 daily deaths.

But Trump is still in power for two more months, as infections and deaths mount up

The most recent surge in cases started last month, as it only took a fortnight to go from eight million cases to nine, then 10 days for the next million and eight for the million after that.

Yesterday Biden's top advisers called for urgent action to address the pandemic, warning Trump's refusal to begin a transition of power could further hinder the battle against the rampaging virus.

Biden's advisers also said it would inhibit vaccine distribution planning and could jeopardize additional government financial aid before Biden takes office in January.

"We are in a very dangerous period," Dr Michael Osterholm, a member of Biden's COVID-19 Advisory Board and director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy said.

The US coronavirus rates are surging again

Unless action is taken now, "we're going to see these numbers grow substantially", Osterholm warned, adding "our future's in our hands."

Basic public health measures such as face covering to curb the spread have become politicized under Trump, who has avoided mask mandates even after contracting coronavirus last month, while Biden has backed their widespread use.

Despite the rising figures, there has still been no formal contact between Biden's advisory panel and the White House Coronavirus Task Force, which requires transition authorisation from the General Services Administration first.

"It's really important in the smooth handing over of the information," White House task force member Dr Anthony Fauci has warned.

"It's almost like passing a baton in a race, you don't want to stop and give it to somebody, you just want to
essentially keep going."

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