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US hits 100,000 daily COVID-19 cases, as Fauci predicted

The U.S. rocketed to a new high for coronavirus cases Wednesday.

Correction: An earlier version of this story stated the U.S. was the first county to reach 100,000 COVID-19 cases in one day. That is incorrect. France hit 124,000 on Oct. 26 and 129,000 on Nov 4.

The United States recorded 100,000 new cases of COVID-19 for the first time Wednesday, reaching a milestone foretold in June by the nation's top infectious disease expert. Cases and hospitalizations are setting records all around the country just as the holidays and winter approach. 

A Johns Hopkins University tracker showed the U.S. had 102,831 confirmed new cases of the coronavirus Wednesday, an increase of more than 11,000 from the day before. It eclipsed the previous record of 99,321 set last Friday.

The 100,000 daily mark was one predicted by Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, more than four months ago.

“We are now having 40-plus-thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around, and so I am very concerned,” Fauci told a Senate panel on June 30.

There are 140 countries that have yet to report 100,000 cases for the entire pandemic.

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The U.S. approached 9.5 million total cases on Wednesday, five days after reaching 9 million. The U.S. continues to lead the world in deaths related to COVID-19 with nearly 234,000. 

Daily new confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. have surged 45% over the past two weeks, to a record 7-day average of 86,352, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Deaths are also on the rise, up 15 percent to an average of 846 deaths every day.

The COVID Tracking Project said Wednesday almost 52,000 people were hospitalized with the virus nationwide, with 10,445 in intensive care and nearly 2,832 on ventilators. Those numbers were up since Friday.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, often cited by the White House, now projects the U.S. will have nearly an additional 100,000 deaths between now and Jan. 1 if mask usage remains at its current level. That number can be reduced by 1/4 if there is universal mask use.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.