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According to data from Johns Hopkins University, a record of nearly 80,000 new COVID-19 infections was reported in the US on Friday.

79,963 infections were recorded between Thursday 8:30 p.m. and Friday Friday, bringing the total to nearly 8.5 million in the country since the pandemic began.

The United States had approached 80,000 cases a day as early as July, largely due to new infections in southern states like Texas and Florida, where the virus then spread out of control.

The worst current outbreaks are in the North and Midwest, and the number of cases has increased in 35 of the 50 states.

The number of deaths over 24 hours has remained largely stable since the beginning of autumn at 700 to 800.

In total, more than 223,000 people have died of COVID-19 in the country.

In absolute terms, the United States has suffered the most deaths in any country, if not in relative terms.

Wearing masks, which a study showed could prevent an additional 130,000 deaths if widespread, is embroiled in US politics in the run-up to the November 3 presidential election.

President Donald Trump, widely criticized for his management of the health crisis and continuing to downplay the severity of the virus, has promised the imminent arrival of a vaccine he wants free.

His Democratic opponent Joe Biden also promised Friday that the vaccine would be “free for everyone” if he wins.

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© 2020 AFP

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