The US death toll from Covid-19 passed 130,000 on Tuesday, with 44,361 new cases announced.
The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention forecast that the death toll could reach 160,000 this month.
Over the past week, at least 32 states have seen surges in the number of infections as the virus count rises nationwide.
“Within a period of a week and a half, we’ve almost doubled the number of new cases,” said infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci, a leading member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force.
The US is averaging 20,000 new cases a day, Dr Fauci said.
“We are still knee-deep in the first wave of this,” he said.
The country is nearing three million cases, or about a quarter of all known infections worldwide.
Dr Fauci expects there will be an answer before the end of the year or by early 2021 as to whether one of more than 140 experimental vaccines in development has proved safe and effective.
Meanwhile, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said on Monday that she tested positive for Covid-19, but had not shown symptoms.
Ms Bottoms gave no information about the diagnosis, whether she was under quarantine and when she was tested.
“Covid-19 has literally hit home,” the first-term mayor of Georgia’s state capital city said on Twitter.