U.S. COVID-19 cases top 3.5 million

A person wearing a mask walks through Chinatown in New York, U.S., February 13, 2020. /Reuters Photo

The number of COVID-19 cases in the United States hit 3,533,317 and 137,846 deaths on Thursday afternoon, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University.

The U.S. remains the world’s worst hit country by the global pandemic, accounting for 25.9 percent of the world’s infections and 23.5 percent of the global fatalities.

New York remains the worst hit state in the country, having registered 32,445 deaths, more than double the deaths reported in the second-worst affected state, New Jersey, which has recorded 15,665.

The two states have also reported more deaths individually than Africa’s cumulative tally, though cases in the latter are on the rise.

The latest figures come amid a spat between the country’s top infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci and the White House.

On Sunday, a White House official shared a list detailing past apparent erroneous comments by Dr Fauci.

Dr Fauci later described the efforts to discredit him as “bizarre” and “nonsense”.

“Ultimately, it hurts the president to do that,” he said in an interview with The Atlantic. “It doesn’t do anything but reflect poorly on them.”