New US coronavirus cases accelerate at record pace

New US coronavirus cases accelerate at record pace

Joe Biden calls for ‘urgent action’ while Donald Trump rules out a lockdown

The US has tallied a record 170,000 coronavirus cases on Friday as the pandemic accelerates in almost all regions of the country, prompting officials to warn of a fresh strain on the healthcare system and weigh new restrictions to contain the spread of the disease. 

President Donald Trump, who has been largely silent on the pandemic since Joe Biden declared his election victory, on Friday afternoon held a press conference to tout the success of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and declared that he would not issue nationwide lockdown orders, as leaders in some other virus-struck nations have done.

“I will not go — this administration will not be going to a lockdown. Hopefully, the, the . . . whatever happens in the future, who knows which administration it will be. I guess time will tell,” Mr Trump said. “But I can tell you this administration will not go to a lockdown.”

Mr Biden, who has been laying the groundwork for his own pandemic response when he takes office in January, issued a statement calling for a “robust and immediate federal response, which has been woefully lacking”.