US president-elect Joe Biden has implored Americans to “wear a mask” to help fight the spread of coronavirus as the country passed 10 million confirmed cases.
The country hit the milestone on Monday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, as infections continue to rise in nearly every state.
Mr Biden said in a speech on Monday that wearing masks could slow the death toll in the pandemic, which he noted could climb by 200,000 more before a vaccine is widely available.
He said: “We are Americans, and our country is under threat.
“Please, I implore you, wear a mask.”
He noted masks could save the lives of older people, children and teachers, and added: “It could even save your own life.”
Mr Biden noted that he does not take office until January but he is assuming a public leadership role in the fight against the pandemic ahead of being sworn in.
New daily confirmed cases of coronavirus are up more than 60% over the past two weeks, to an average of nearly 109,000, and average daily cases are on the rise in 48 states.
The US accounts for about a fifth of the world’s 50 million confirmed cases.
The nation’s coronavirus deaths are up 18% over the past two weeks, averaging 939 each day. The virus has killed more than 237,000 Americans.