As the US entered a new year, the country topped 20 million COVID-19 cases, even though the celebrations this year were highly muted due to the widespread of the novel coronavirus.
The death toll of the US crossed 346,000 on the first day of the new year in the country, making the US the worst-hit country by the coronavirus pandemic.
This new high in the coronavirus cases has come a few days after the US started its mass vaccination programme after Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were given a go-ahead by the US' Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Since the approval, nearly 2.8 million people have already been administered with a shot of the coronavirus vaccine, including some the outgoing Vie President Mike Pence, incoming VP Kamala Harris and incoming President Joe Biden.
The rise in the figure has come a day after several locals flocked out on the streets to celebrate the new year, giving rise to many new infections.
"The current situation is not rosy, there's a hole because there's an absence of other approved vaccines and we have to fill this gap," BioNTech co-founder Ugur Sahin said in an interaction with local media.
Meanwhile, the outgoing US President Donald Trump has hailed the vaccine rollout, urging people to give him the 'due credit'. He has assured people that everyone will soon be receiving the vaccine very soon — which he earlier promised to would be the end of 2020. "Our most vulnerable citizens are already receiving the vaccine, and millions of doses are quickly being shipped all across our country," he said.