The United States has registered more than 12 million cases of COVID-19 as public health experts continue to warn people to heed a warning not to travel for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.
As of Saturday afternoon, the United States reported over 12.09 million cases of coronavirus and more than 255,000 deaths – the highest totals in any country in the world, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The United States has seen an increase in new infections as well as hospitalizations in recent weeks as colder weather forces more people indoors.
Authorities in several states have warned that health systems could soon be overwhelmed as hospitalizations have more than doubled since the summer months. As of Friday, more than 82,000 people were in the hospital with the disease, the COVID Tracking Project said.
As the Thanksgiving holiday on November 26 approaches, state and national officials have increasingly warned against traveling.
On Saturday, seven governors in Midwestern states ̵
On Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a “strong recommendation” to stay home Thursday.
The agency advised against all gatherings with people who have not lived in the same household for 14 days – the virus incubation period.
However, many people seem to ignore this advice.
Transportation Administration spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein tweeted that Friday was only the second time since the pandemic began that over a million travelers were screened at airports across the country.
Updated statistics: Friday 20. November @TSA
screened 1,019,836 people at the airport security checkpoints nationwide. This is the 2nd time since the pandemic passengers have exceeded 1 million. https://t.co/rH5iMMfW0n #travels
– Lisa Farbstein, TSA Spokeswoman (@TSA_Northeast) November 21, 2020
A number of new restrictions have been introduced to respond to the increase in COVID-19 cases.
On Saturday, California will begin imposing a curfew between 6 p.m. 22.00 and kl. 5 local time (06:00 and 13:00 GMT), while New York City closed schools to 1.1 million students earlier this week. Chicago – the third largest city in the country – has been under home bookings since Monday.
The Associated Press news agency reported Saturday that Republican lawmakers in states where the virus fluctuates, including Ohio, Missouri, Tennessee and Pennsylvania, oppose rules that require them to wear masks in their own government buildings.
Nearly 200 lawmakers nationwide have tested positive for COVID-19, and four have died since the pandemic began, the news agency said.
Crowds at Sky Harbor: The day after the CDC advised people to cancel their Thanksgiving travel plans, #azfamily viewer Ed Westerfield captured this scene of passengers waiting at their gates pic.twitter.com/r9gIhWlbek
– Max Gorden (@Max_Gorden) November 21, 2020
Infections also continue to affect President Donald Trump’s inner circle, with his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., announcing on Friday that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was in quarantine.
The Trump administration has been heavily criticized for its response to the pandemic.
On Monday, President-elect Joe Biden expressed frustration over Trump’s refusal to cooperate on the transition to the White House, saying “more people could die” of COVID-19 without immediate coordination to fight the virus.