After the first cases of Covid-19 were confirmed in the United States on January 20, it took almost 100 days to reach 1 million infections. Now, the country has added more than 1 million cases to its grim total in just five days.
From Tuesday to Saturday, 1,000,882 new coronavirus cases were reported in the US, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, bringing the total to more than 14.5 million confirmed cases and 281,199 deaths from the virus.
The month of November registered frightening peaks in the daily number of new coronavirus cases -- reaching 100,000 for the first time, as well as spikes in hospitalizations and deaths. On the second day of December, more than 200,000 new cases were reported for the previous 24 hours.
A grim prognosis: And as the impacts of Thanksgiving travel and gatherings begin to reveal themselves, and hospitals fill to capacity, experts say it is likely to get worse.
"Every single day, thousands more people are getting this virus, and we know that means that in a few days, in a week, hundreds of people are going to be coming to the hospital and hundreds of people are going to die," Dr. Shirlee Xie, a hospitalist and associate director of hospital medicine for Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis, told CNN's Ana Cabrera, her voice breaking with emotion.
"I think that sometimes when you hear statistics like that, you become numb to what those numbers mean," she said. "But for us, the people that are taking care of these patients, every single number is somebody that we have to look at and say, 'I'm sorry, there's nothing more I can do for you.'"
More than 100,000 Covid-19 patients have been hospitalized nationwide for the past four days, according to the Covid Tracking Project.