By Wednesday afternoon, the U.S. had set a new record for the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, when that number rose above 100,000 people for the first time, and by the end of the day America added a new single-day fatality record. The number of people who died of COVID-19 in the U.S. rose above the previous record, 2,760, by Wednesday evening, and by midnight, according to the New York Times database, the U.S. had documented 2,885 new coronavirus deaths and 199,988 new cases, out of a pandemic total of at least 13,999,300 cases and 273,500 deaths.
With 2,885 COVID-19 deaths in 24 hours, that works out to one person dying in the U.S. every 30 seconds, Times reporter Mike Baker pointed out, among other grim contextualization.
2,885 deaths reported in one day.
That is 1 death every 30 seconds.
It's more than the death toll at the World Trade Center on 9/11.
It's more than all the U.S. military casualties in the endless war in Afghanistan. https://t.co/KsOMz0k1UQ
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) December 3, 2020
"And as staggering as it is, the death toll reported Wednesday appears likely only to worsen, experts say, as the delayed effects of Thanksgiving travel are felt," the Times reports. "And many Americans are now weighing how to celebrate Christmas and New Year's." Earlier Wednesday, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said we're about to "the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation," adding that skyrocketing death counts aren't inevitable. "We're not defenseless," he said. "The truth is that mitigation works. But it's not going to work if half of us do what we need to do. Probably not even if three-quarters do."