America has chosen Democrat Joe Biden as its 46th president, CNN projected on Saturday afternoon, following an election that the former vice president sought to turn into a referendum on President Trump's mismanagement of the pandemic.
Three advisers to the President said Trump's handling of the coronavirus was a massive factor in his election loss. A senior adviser said Trump's dismissive attitude and misinformation about the virus alienated senior voters who rejected the President's performance on Covid-19.
The adviser said Trump could never understand elderly voters were the most at-risk for contracting and succumbing to the virus, making them fearful of how the President was responding to the pandemic.
A separate adviser said Trump chose to reopen the economy rather than get the virus under control and suffered the consequences on November 3.
Biden's victory comes a day after the US racked up more than 126,000 new daily coronavirus cases -- the highest one-day tally yet, Johns Hopkins data show. As of Saturday morning, more than 9.7 million cases have been recorded in the US.
America also reported more than 1,140 coronavirus deaths Friday, the fourth straight day that count has risen above 1,000. The last time that happened was in August.
On the same day, at least 17 states reported record high cases counts for a single day, per the Johns Hopkins data. Sixteen states reported record-high Covid-19 hospitalizations, according to the COVID Tracking Project. More than 54,000 coronavirus patients are now hospitalized across the country -- not far from the country's pandemic peak of 59,940 in mid-April.