Coronavirus updates: 23 COVID-19 cases linked to Trump rallies

The outbreaks occurred at Trump campaign rallies in Minnesota last month.

A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 1.1 million people worldwide.

Over 43 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The criteria for diagnosis -- through clinical means or a lab test -- has varied from country to country. Still, the actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.

The United States is the worst-affected country, with more than 8.6 million diagnosed cases and at least 225,230 deaths.

California has the most cases of any U.S. state, with more than 906,000 people diagnosed, according to Johns Hopkins data. California is followed by Texas and Florida, with over 892,000 cases and over 778,000 cases, respectively.

Nearly 200 vaccine candidates for COVID-19 are being tracked by the World Health Organization, at least 10 of which are in crucial phase three studies. Of those 10 potential vaccines in late-stage trials, there are currently five that will be available in the United States if approved.


23 COVID-19 cases linked to Trump rallies: Health official

At least 23 coronavirus cases have been linked to three outbreaks that occurred at Trump campaign events in Minnesota in September, Minnesota Health Department spokesperson Doug Schultz told ABC News.

The outbreaks occurred at a Trump rally at Bemidji Aviation on Sept. 18, where 16 cases have been identified; a Mike Pence speech at a Minneapolis-Saint Paul airport hotel on Sept. 24, where three cases have been identified; and a Trump rally at Duluth Airport on Sept. 30, where four cases have been identified, Schutlz said.

Two of the 16 who contracted the virus at the Bemidji event were hospitalized, according to the Health Department.

Another outbreak occurred at a counter-rally that took place near the Bemidji event, where four cases have been identified, the Health Department said.

One coronavirus case was linked to Joe Biden's rally in Duluth on Sept. 18, and one case was linked to Eric Trump's speech in Becker on Oct. 1, but the Health Department said these two cases were not classified as outbreaks.

Since Sept. 12, the seven-day average of new cases in Minnesota has nearly tripled, increasing by almost 200% in the last six weeks. Minnesota health officials also reported a near-record increase of 2,268 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state on Saturday.

Minnesota's health protocols currently cap gatherings at 250 people, even when outdoors, and masks are required in situations where physical distancing cannot be properly maintained.

An official news release about Pence's rally today in Hibbing, Minnesota, said that "all attendees will be given a temperature check, masks which they are instructed to wear, and access to hand sanitizer."

ABC News' Soo Rin Kim and Arielle Mitropoulos contributed to this report.


Stocks have worst day in a month as US virus cases soar to new heights


The stock market had its worst day since Sept. 3, as COVID-19 cases spiked across the country and industries that needed a return to normalcy, like cruise lines and airlines, saw big losses.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 650 points lower, down 2.3%, to 27,685, while the S&P 500 fell 1.6% to 3,400 and the NASDAQ declined 1.6% to 11,358.

"It’s kind of a perfect storm," Ross Mayfield, an investment strategy analyst at Baird, told The Associated Press. "The record case numbers and the kind of rolling lockdowns across Europe are getting the headlines. Oil is down on some supply and demand issues. Stimulus seems more and more unlikely by the day, at least pre-election."

ABC News' Rebecca Jarvis contributed to this report.


'We have never been as vulnerable as we are right now': Salt Lake City mayor

Following record-breaking COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations this week, Utah's hospitals are reaching capacity, according to Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall.

Gov. Gary Herbert plans to open a field hospital for overflow patients if hospitals become overrun, but Mendenhall stressed that extra beds "don't do anything to save lives" without additional health care workers to treat them.

According to the Utah Hospital Association, 20% to 30% of hospital staff aren't able to go to work because either they or a family member has contracted the virus.

"Nurses and doctors are working extended hours, around the clock," Mendenhall told ABC News Live's "The Breakdown." "They are exhausted."

ABC News' Terry Moran contributed to this report.



'Blatant disrespect' for scientists led to COVID-19 confusion, deaths: WHO

Countries in the northern hemisphere, particularly in Europe and North America, are seeing a concerning rise in infections and hospitalizations, as well as dwindling ICU beds, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization, said during a news conference in Geneva.

"Last week saw the highest number of COVID-19 cases reported so far," Tedros said.

When leaders act quickly, the virus can be suppressed, he noted. On the other hand, Tedros added, "Where there has been political division at the national level, where there has been blatant disrespect for science and health professionals, confusion has spread and cases and deaths have mounted."

ABC News' Christine Theodorou contributed to this report.