US hits 20 million-mark in coronavirus cases

By The Associated Press 

BALTIMORE — The U.S. continued to surpass other countries in COVID-19 cases as it reached 20 million at the start of the new year, according to data kept by Johns Hopkins University.

America exceeded the mark Friday, less than a week after the country reached 19 million cases. COVID-19 deaths have also increased in the country, now totaling more than 346,000.

The U.S. accounts for about 4% of the world's population, but the country has eclipsed other nations in coronavirus cases by more than 9 million and COVID-19 deaths by over 151,000. India and Brazil trail behind the U.S. in coronavirus cases at over 10 million and 7 million, respectively.

The increase comes as officials race to vaccinate millions of Americans but have come off to a slower and messier start.

President-elect Joe Biden criticized the Trump administration Tuesday for the pace of distributing COVID-19 vaccines and vowed to ramp up the current speed of vaccinations. However, Biden acknowledged that it "will still take months to have the majority of Americans vaccinated."

Globally, more than 83 million cases have been confirmed.

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