Image: Getty Images. California has the most Covid-19 cases of any state in the US and is currenly under 'lockdown'.

(GT) December 13th, 2020–The total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States topped 16 million on Saturday, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

US COVID-19 case count rose to 16,014,839, with a total of 297,501 deaths, according to the CSSE tally.

California reported the most cases among the states, standing at 1,535,962. Texas registered 1,395,889 cases, followed by Florida with 1,116,973 cases. Illinois recorded 841,688 cases and New York identified 764,966 cases.

Other states with over 420,000 cases include Ohio, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Tennessee and North Carolina, the CSSE data showed.

By far, the United States remains the nation worst hit by the pandemic, with the world’s most cases and deaths, making up more than 22 percent of the global caseload.

US COVID-19 cases hit 10 million on Nov. 9, and increased by 5 million within a month. It took only four days for the case count to jump from 15 million to 16 million.

Record numbers of cases, deaths as well as hospitalizations have been repeatedly seen across the states in December.

US daily cases reached 231,775 on Friday, the highest single-day increase in new cases the country has ever witnessed since the pandemic began, according to data complied by Johns Hopkins University.

Friday also marked the 40th consecutive day that the United Sates had reported more than 100,000 daily cases since the beginning of November.

Meanwhile, the country just went through the deadliest day since the onset of the pandemic, with the national daily deaths surging to 3,309 on Friday, the CSSE chart showed.

Current hospitalizations in the United States skyrocketed to an all-time high of 108,108 on Friday, according to The COVID Tracking Project.

An updated model forecast by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington projected a total of 502,256 COVID-19 deaths in the United States by April 1, 2021, based on current projection scenario.

The failure to effectively manage the Covid-19 epidemic within the US has come as a tremendous blow to the nation that believed that its health care system, although very expensive, was the best in the world.

With the first western vaccine, manufactured by Pfizer Corp. being launched in the US this weekend, an end is perhaps in sight, but it may get worse before it gets better.

The Caribbean, where numbers are relatively low compared to the US, will have to wait a bit longer for a vaccine as the conditions for storing the Pfizer vaccine at ultralow temperatures do not exist in the Caribbean, as far as can be determined.

The Moderna vaccine, which has to be refrigerated, but not to ultracold temperatures, may well be the next vaccine to obtain approval, and could become a factor in the Caribbean. The much cheaper AstraZeneca vaccine seems to be moving forward again, but the Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson vaccines seem to have hit roadblocks.

The Russian Sputnik V vaccine is promised to be distributed in Argentina before the end of 2020, but whether this vaccine will be a factor in the Caribbean remains to be seen. There is also a possibility that some Caribbean nations will eventually turn to Chinese vaccines.