Texas Becomes First US State to Surpass 1 Million Coronavirus Cases

Texas has become the first state in the U.S. to pass a grim milestone as it counts more than a million COVID-19 cases. As of Wednesday, there have been at least 1,038,135 confirmed coronavirus cases and 19,423 deaths in Texas since the beginning of the pandemic, according to databases from The New York Times and Johns Hopkins University.

This means that Texas has now been home to more coronavirus cases than the entire country of Italy, an early COVID-19 hotspot this year before the country entered a lockdown. According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, the state reported 10,865 new COVID-19 cases and 94 coronavirus-related deaths Tuesday. The department estimates there are currently 132,146 active coronavirus cases and 826,116 recoveries from the deadly virus at this time.

As flu season begins, health officials have warned that the U.S. could see skyrocketing deaths this winter if the coronavirus isn't controlled. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine recently modeled a possible 415,000 people dead from COVID-19 come January. The U.S. has hit a third spike of coronavirus cases, the worst yet, breaking its own record in daily coronavirus cases Friday, with more than 132,700 new confirmed cases reported. The New York Times reported Wednesday that more than 10.3 million people in the U.S. have been infected with COVID-19, and 240,241 people have died of coronavirus-related deaths.

As coronavirus cases continue to grow, the 2020 presidential election was won by President-elect Joe Biden and running mate Kamala Harris, who Monday named the members of a new COVID task force co-chaired by Vivek H. Murthy, surgeon general during the Obama administration; David Kessler, Food and Drug Administration commissioner under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton; and Marcella Nunez-Smith, associate dean for health equity research at the Yale School of Medicine. The remaining members are all doctors and health experts, signaling a focus on a science-based approach to getting the pandemic under control.

Friday, the former vice president told Americans that the pandemic "is getting more worrisome" all across the country. "Daily cases are skyrocketing, and it's now believed we could see as many as 200,000 cases in a single day," Biden said. "I want you to know that I’ll work hard for those who voted against me as well as those who voted for me. That’s the job. That's the job. It’s called the duty of care for all Americans."