NEW YORK - The United States now has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world, according to data gathered both by Johns Hopkins University and The New York Times.
In reaching the grim milestone on Thursday, the country of 330 million people surpassed virus hotspots China and Italy.
Johns Hopkins said the US has 82,404 cases, while the Times said there were at least 81,321 people who tested positive for COVID-19.
Italy's declared caseload stood Thursday at 80,539 and China's at 81,285, according to an AFP tally.
American hospitals increasingly have reported being overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases and 40 percent of Americans are under lockdown orders to prevent the spread of the illness.
At least 1,178 people have died of COVID-19 in the US, according to Johns Hopkins, including 100 in the past day in virus hotbed New York.
While fatalities remain higher elsewhere, experts say new infection numbers show that many more Americans will die -- and the true number of cases could be much higher than the official figure due to shortages of test kits.
The official count for the number of US coronavirus cases comes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has lagged behind outside tallies. On Thursday evening the CDC listed 68,440 cases.
© Agence France-Presse