The US is just "weeks" away from such a high rate of serious COVID-19 cases that "every single American is going to know someone who's seriously ill", a top vaccinologist warned.
"Because (the increasing COVID-19-related death rate) is being paralleled by a rise in hospitalizations, ICU admissions, and now the deaths are starting to arrive," Xinhua news agency quoted Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College, as saying to MSNBC News on Thursday.
Hotez gave the warning as the country registered over 1,400 deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, the record nationwide single-day death toll since mid-May, according to The Hill news website.
The warning also came as the administration and President Donald Trump in particular continued to tout alleged progress in tackling the COVID-19 outbreak by citing a falling US mortality rate.
In a recent tweet, Trump even claimed that the US has "the lowest" mortality rate for COVID-19 in the world.
However, according to CNN's fact-checking, among the 20 countries most affected by COVID-19, at least 14 have lower death rates than the US.
In another grim milestone, the overall number of COVID-19 cases in the US has crossed the 3.5 million mark, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
As of Friday morning, the US accounted for the world's highest number of infections and fatalities at 3,570,037 and 138,291, respectively, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update.
While New York state remains the hardest-hit with 404,775 cases, California, Florida and Texas have become the country's new COVID-19 hotspots with a rapid increases in daily new cases.
California has reported 355,046 cases, Florida 315,775 and Texas 292,336, the tally showed.
States with over 100,000 cases also include New Jersey, Illinois, Arizona, Georgia, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, the CSSE data showed.