US adds 55,000 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours

Cars wait in line at a drive-up COVID-19 testing site inside the American Airlines Center parking garage in Dallas on June 27, 2020.

Montinique Monroe / Getty Images North America / AFP

WASHINGTON- The United States recorded 55,000 new coronavirus cases in 24 hours on Wednesday, a tally by Johns Hopkins University showed, bringing its total to 3,046,351 recorded infections since the pandemic began.

The country, the hardest-hit in the world, had earlier Wednesday passed the grim milestone of three million infections. The actual number is likely far higher due to issues over getting tested in March and April.

READ: US tops 2.5-million virus cases as infections surge

The US also added an additional 833 virus deaths, bringing the death toll to 132,195, the Baltimore-based institution showed at 8:30 pm (0030 GMT Thursday).

US President Donald Trump regularly downplays the numbers, attributing them to an increase in testing capacity during the month of June.

READ: Why the US is experiencing a coronavirus plateau?

Coronavirus cases are surging in several southern hotspots including Texas, Florida, Louisiana and Arizona, but the pandemic has almost entirely receded from its former epicenter in New York and the north-east.

Several states have been forced to suspend their reopening processes or even reverse course, with some ordering bars to close again.

On Wednesday, Trump called on schools throughout the country to reopen in the fall, lashing out at his own top health agency to ease health and safety requirements aimed at slowing the spread of the virus, such as social distancing.