Wednesday’s total topped the previous record, set last Sunday, by 8,600 cases, according to the Financial Times.
It also came one day after Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House coronavirus task force predicted U.S. infections could soon climb as high as 100,000 per day if mitigation efforts aren’t taken more seriously.
Five states — California, Texas, Arizona, North Carolina and Georgia — also reported their highest infection totals Wednesday, The Washington Post reported. In California, 9,740 people tested positive for the virus.
Cases have spiked across the country as states start to reopen businesses and ease restrictions after months of stay-at-home orders.
Both California and Florida are closing beaches in some counties over the Fourth of July weekend and California Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered bars, dine-in services at restaurants and other indoor activities closed in some areas.
Apple and McDonald’s are among businesses that have reclosed some stores in various states amid the surge.
“Help is on the way and we’re going to spare no expense to provide the kind of reinforcements that you will need across the state,” Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday in Arizona, where hospitals have seen a surge in cases, forcing Gov. Doug Ducey to reclose gyms, movie theaters and other businesses, AZCentral.com reported.
President Trump, who has been resistent to wearing a face mask in public in the past, told Fox Business on Wednesday he would have no problem wearing one and was “all for masks.”
He said, however, that he disagreed with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that a national mask mandate was necessary.
Some states — including California, Nevada, Washington and Pennsylvania — have mandated masks statewide to help slow the spread as people leave their houses more during summer weather.
“When you do not wear your face covering, we end up in a situation where you see higher rates of disease spread and you end up having to close places,” Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Tuesday. “This mask, this face covering, actually is an instrument of freedom for Americans if we all use it.”
Trump told Fox Business on Wednesday he still believes that the virus with just “disappear” at some point, he hopes.
The president and the White House have said that the spike in cases is due to increases in testing, but Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and other experts have said testing can’t account for the entirety of the surge.