U.S. passes 8 million confirmed coronavirus cases

The COVID Tracking Project reported 68,000 daily cases, the highest since July 30.
3:11 | 10/17/20

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Transcript for U.S. passes 8 million confirmed coronavirus cases
country. The covid tracking project reporting that the latest daily case count, now more than 68,000, is the highest the country has seen since July 30th and according to an internal department of health and human services memo obtained by ABC news, 24% of hospitals across the country have more than 80% of their icu beds filled. That is a critical marker. ABC's Trevor Ault is outside a hospital here in New York City with the latest. Good morning to you, Trevor. Reporter: Well, Eva, good morning. The U.S. Has now hit 8 million confirmed cases of covid-19 but even more concerning than the magnitude of that number is that once again the spread of this virus appears to be intensifying across huge sections of the United States. This morning, America's health care workers sounding the alarm as coronavirus cases surge across the U.S. There's a huge disconnect I think with what the community thinks is happening and what we see happening in the hospital. Reporter: This week, 11 states hit new record high case totals, 13 hit record hospitalizations. Two hit record deaths. In Wisconsin, now averaging more than 3,000 cases a day broke records in all three categories. Particularly in our rural areas in northeast Wisconsin there's a very huge anti-mask sentiment and people still don't believe this is a real disease and we're seeing some dramatic, very dangerous situations occurring in our community. Reporter: In New Mexico, hospitalizations have jumped 70% this month. The governor tweeting, we are past the point of prevention, more new Mexicans will die. Texas sending backup personnel to the panhandle. As Amarillo and Lubbock weather El Paso sees record high cases and the mayor with a warning? We're more than statistics. We're people. This pandemic is not going to go away until we have a vaccine. Reporter: As the entire country waits for a vaccine, pfizer says it hopes to apply for emergency authorization for its drug assuming it hits the necessary safety milestones by the third week of November, as Dr. Anthony Fauci says he's concerned that politics have eroded the public's trust in We're already seeing expression of reluctance in not trusting the scientific establishment to free themselves of political influence about whether a vaccine is safe or effective. Reporter: And schools still wrestling with how to safely manage in-person learning. One Atlanta district is now going remote until the new year as an entire Mississippi high school, 600 students, goes into quarantine. An unfortunate return aboard "Uss Theodore Roosevelt," where more than a thousand sailors tested months ago, now two positive tests popping up once again. The trump administration announced a deal with CVS and Walgreens to get a vaccine administered to nursing home patients and staff for free. Drug companies say it is going to take quite some time to manufacture enough doses for the entire country. Dan. So important, though, to protect the people in nursing homes and the people who work there. Trevor, thank you very much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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