Among one-day record of 884 victims over the past 24 hours was a six-week-old in Connecticut who was brought unresponsive to a hospital late last week
A six-week-old baby died of COVID-19 as the US death toll from the coronavirus pandemic topped 5,000 late Wednesday, according to a running tally from Johns Hopkins University.
At about 0235 GMT Thursday, 5,116 people had died, the tally showed, on the same day the United States set a one-day record of 884 people killed in 24 hours.
The US death toll is lower than those of Italy and Spain but above the 3,316 recorded for China, where the pandemic first emerged in December.
According to Johns Hopkins, the US leads the world in number of cases of new coronavirus, with 215,417.
President Donald Trump, who earlier had downplayed the pandemic's impact on the US, said Wednesday that "we're going to have a couple of weeks, starting pretty much now, but especially a few days from now, that are going to be horrific."
Last Sunday, senior US scientist Anthony Fauci issued a cautious prediction that the novel coronavirus could claim 100,000 to 200,000 lives in the country.
Cases in the United States soared, rising to more than 213,000, the most anywhere in the world. The death toll in the US over the past 24 hours was a new one-day record of 884, and new known cases exceeded 25,000, according to a Johns Hopkins University database.
"We're going to have a couple of weeks, starting pretty much now, but especially a few days from now, that are going to be horrific. But even in the most challenging of times, Americans do not despair. We do not give in to fear," Trump told an evening news conference.
Among the victims was a six-week-old in Connecticut who was brought unresponsive to a hospital late last week, believed to be the youngest victim yet of the virus.
"Testing confirmed last night that the newborn was COVID-19 positive," Governor Ned Lamont wrote on Twitter. "This is absolutely heartbreaking."
The victims of the new coronavirus have been disproportionately elderly, but a number of recent cases have highlighted that the disease can befall even youngsters with seemingly strong immune systems.
The dead have included a 13-year-old in France, a 12-year-old in Belgium and 13-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdullah in Britain, whose family said the "gentle and kind" boy had no underlying health issues.