Washington, Dec 26 (efe-epa).- The number of coronavirus infections neared the 19-million mark in the United States with 331,740 deaths Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University tracker.
The tracker put the total number of confirmed cases in the US at 18,943,541, including 331,754
The latest figures published at 8 pm (01.00 GMT on Sunday) are 1,488 more deaths than on Friday and 187,392 new infections.
The New York state remains the worst hit in the country by the pandemic with 37,286 deaths, followed by Texas (26,911), California (24,078), Florida (21,135), and New Jersey (18,613).
Other states with large death counts are Illinois (17,224), Pennsylvania (14,858), Michigan (12,690), Massachusetts (12,010), and Georgia (10,685).
In terms of infections, California has the highest number with 2.08 million, followed by Texas with 1.66 million, Florida with 1.2 million, Illinois with 934,142, and New York with 914,522.
The death toll of over 331,700 far exceeds the lower limit of the initial White House estimates.
It had projected between 100,000 and 240,000 deaths from the pandemic.
Outgoing President Donald Trump lowered those estimates and was confident that the final figure would be between 50,000 and 60,000 deaths.
Later, he predicted a maximum of 110,000 deaths.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluations (IHME) of the University of Washington has estimated that by the time Trump leaves the White House next month, the virus would have claimed 420,000 lives.
The White House often uses the IHME models for predicting the evolution and the behavior of the pandemic.
According to IHME estimates, 560,000 people would have died in the US due to the infection by Apr.1. EFE-EPA