The U.S. has now surpassed 19 million reported coronavirus cases since the outset of the pandemic, and health experts fear the harrowing number will quickly worsen in the coming weeks as the effects of holiday travel become apparent.

News of the 19 million cases recorded by a Johns Hopkins University tracker came just six days after the country reached 18 million infections.

While the U.S. makes up four percent of the world’s population with over 331 million people, it makes up nearly a quarter of coronavirus cases and 19 percent of its deaths, The Associated Press reported.

As of Monday, the U.S. has roughly 19.2 million cases and 334,000 related deaths, both tops globally, according to the Johns Hopkins tracker.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the U.S. is at a critical point of the pandemic and “it might actually get worse” with the possibility of a “post-seasonal” surge, even as vaccines become available to the general population by late March or early April.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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