Daily Covid-19 cases in the US hit a new global record of more than 100,000, pushing hospitals closer to the brink of capacity just four days ahead of the presidential election in which the pandemic is the top issue.

Cases reached 100,233 on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, which is a new single-day record for the fifth time in the past 10 days for the US, surpassing the previous peak of 91,248 new infections posted a day earlier.

It also represented the world’s highest national daily toll during the pandemic, exceeding India’s 24-hour record of 97,894 set in September. Total cases in the US topped 9 million, with more than 230,000 deaths.

At an election rally on Friday, Trump alleged that doctors were getting paid more to attribute deaths to Covid-19 as opposed to other causes. “Our doctors get more money if someone dies from Covid,” he said in Michigan. His Democratic rival Joe Biden called out the president.“Did you hear what he said again today? He said that our doctors who are putting their lives on the line busting their necks, are making up deaths from Covid because they ’get more money’”.

“Doctors and nurses go to work every day to save lives — they do their jobs,” Biden said.

Deprived of big, raucous crowds due to Covid curbs, Trump delivered the shortest stump speech yet this cycle, around 21 minutes, to an audience of merely 250 people in Rochester, Minnesota.

And he was not happy about it. “Your far-left Democrat attorney general, Keith Ellison, and your Democrat governor (Tim Walz) tried to shut down our rally, silence the people of Minnesota, and take away your freedom of assembly,” Trump told supporters. “They thought we would cancel—but I will never abandon Minnesota!”

Trump lost Minnesota in the last election, but so narrowly that he has been tempted to seek a win there to offset vulnerabilities and potential reverses in his 2016 pathway to victory.

But just four days from the close of polling on Tuesday, Trump is trailing Biden in the state by a wide margin of 8.1 percentage points at this time, in the FiveThirtyEight weighted average of polls and by 4.7 points in the RealClearPolitics average of polls.

Trump is behind Biden countrywide, by 8.9 percentage points in the FiveThirtyEight weighted average of polls and by 7.9 points in the aggregated average of RealClearPolitics, which also has the former vice-president in the lead by 3.2 points in the top battleground states — Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida and Arizona.

Trump and Biden will be crisscrossing battleground states over the remaining four days, with more than 87 million Americans having voted already in person or by mail.

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