The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) informed that over 1.1 million travelers went through security lines at U.S. airports on Sunday. It is the second time that the 1 million passenger mark has been broken within a single week.
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The record uptick in airline travel since the pandemic gripped the country in March came when the U.S. has reached a grim weekly milestone: more than 1 million new COVID-19 cases every week.
The country has recorded more than 13.45 million cases with over 267,400 related deaths as of Monday afternoon, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The CDC reported 152,608 new cases nationwide on Sunday, the 22nd consecutive day that the daily case count had surpassed 100,000.
Hospitalizations of COVID-19 patients nationwide reached an all-time high of 93,238 on Sunday, according to the latest data of the COVID Tracking Project. The number surpassed Saturday's record of 91,635 hospitalized patients.
"All things considered, we're not in a good place," Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said.
"You'll see the difference two or three weeks from now, which would put it right at the time that people would be traveling for Christmas," he added.
The CDC said forecasting models predict that the death toll in the United States could reach up to 321,000 by mid-December. The number of newly reported COVID-19 deaths will likely increase over the next four weeks, with 10,600 to 21,400 new deaths likely to be reported in the week ending Dec. 19.
With the absence of a national strategy, states and cities were largely left on their own in battling the pandemic. Political polarization, misinformation, and conspiracy theories have allowed the pandemic to take root and bloom.
A recent Gallup poll showed 42 percent of Americans said they would not get vaccinated, most of them citing the rushed timeline and concern over possible side effects.