The US has broken its record for new daily COVID-19 cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The country reported 88,521 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, an increase of 9,540 from the previous day, the data showed – a rate of about one new case per second, according to analyses.

The US still leads the world with almost 9 million cases and over 228,000 deaths, and experts warn those numbers may rise dramatically in the coming months, and could even double.

“If states do not react to rising numbers by re-imposing mandates, cumulative deaths could reach 514,000 by the same date,” the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle said Thursday in a statement.

“The fall/winter surge should lead to a daily death toll that is approximately three times higher than now by mid-January. Hospital systems, particularly ICUs, are expected to be under extreme stress in December and January in 18 states,” it added.

Globally, there were more than 45 million COVID-19 cases and almost 1.2 million deaths as of Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The data comes as Democrats in the US have made what they call the Trump administration’s failure to effectively deal with the coronavirus a major campaign issue.

Despite the soaring numbers, Trump has continued to claim that the pandemic is nearing its end, or that it will “go away,” a claim belied by analyses by most public health experts.

US presidential and congressional elections are set for next Tuesday, Nov. 3.

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