WASHINGTON, DC -- The United States on Friday surpassed 8 million recorded Covid-19 cases -- a milestone that comes as daily infection rates are rising, which experts say is setting the country up for a very difficult winter.
The country has recorded more than 8,008,000 cases, Johns Hopkins University says. That total is likely a vast undercount, largely because of a low testing capacity early in the pandemic, researchers have said in several reports.
Perhaps more immediately concerning than Friday's milestone is a recent rise in cases per day. The country's one-week average of new daily cases has moved above 53,000 -- an increase of more than 55% in just over a month, Johns Hopkins data show.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, has warned that is far too high heading into the end of the year.
"You can't enter into the cool months of the fall and the cold months of the winter with a high community infection baseline," Fauci said in a John Hopkins virtual event posted Friday.
Fauci and other public health officials have warned the country should try to lower its daily cases to prepare for new challenges. Those include the flu season, which could create what doctors call a "twin-demic" with Covid-19; as well as temptations to hold more gatherings indoors as temperatures drop, including during the holidays.