After months of dire warnings from health experts, the United States is now seeing its Covid-19 outbreak accelerate out of control, as it tops 11 million known cases of the potentially deadly disease.
The pace of the novel coronavirus' spread is now so fast it is logging nearly a million new cases in just over a week's time. Saturday alone saw 166,555 new diagnoses and 1,266 new deaths attributed to the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
So far, nearly 246,000 Americans have died of the virus, since the first case was reported 297 days ago in late January.
Nearly every state in the country, except for Hawaii, is now seeing "uncontrolled spread," according to Covidexitstrategy.org.
As the surge rages on, celebrities and politicians are once again making headlines for contracting the disease, while thousands of everyday Americans quietly die or fall ill.
Even more people associated with the White House -- including Secret Service agents -- have reportedly been testing positive recently, and so has Tesla (TSLA) - Get Report chief executive Elon Musk, who on Saturday in a Twitter post claimed he "most likely" has a moderate case of Covid-19, which he compared to a cold. Also, in recent days, celebrity singer and actress Lynn Kellogg Simpers -- who starred in the 1968 Broadway show “Hair" -- died of the disease.
Despite the rapid spread of the disease, a massive demonstration -- dubbed the Million MAGA March -- was carried out over the weekend in Washington to protest the election of Democratic President-elect Joe Biden. Photos and videos of the event at the nation's capital showed a large crowd with few wearing masks, which are believed by health officials to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Health experts, however, have continued to make pleas for the public to wear masks when near others, keep their distance and wash hands frequently.
"Our future is in our hands. And right now, for at least the next three weeks, because cases are already in the -- we would say in the pipeline, meaning they're already infected -- these numbers are going to go way up," said Michael Osterholm, a member of President-elect Joe Biden's transition team Covid-19 advisory board, on NBC News' "Meet the Press" show on Sunday morning.
As the world waits for a vaccine to arrive, said Osterholm, an infectious disease expert at the University of Minnesota, "we are in a very dangerous period, the most dangerous public health period since 1918."
Still, despite positive news last week from Pfizer (PFE) - Get Report on a vaccine, it's unclear when enough of that company's -- or any other's -- vaccine would be widely available to stave off the pandemic.
If it gets necessary approvals, Pfizer's and BioNTech's (BNTX) - Get Report vaccine-in-progress is on track to produce enough doses globally for up to 25 million people in 2020 and for up to 650 million people in 2021 -- a tiny fraction of the world's total population of around 7.7 billion.
The U.S.' outbreak is fueling a large portion of the global pandemic, which now has more than 54 million total known cases and more than 1.3 million total known deaths attributed to the disease, according to Johns Hopkins.
This story has been updated.