U.S. coronavirus cases were approaching 4 million on Thursday, with over 2,600 new cases every hour on average, the highest rate in the world, according to a Reuters tally. Infections in the United States have rapidly accelerated since the first case was detected on Jan. 21. It took the country 98 days to reach 1 million cases. It took another 43 days to reach 2 million and then 27 days to reach 3 million. It has only taken 16 days to reach 4 million at a rate of 43 new cases a minute. The federal government, state governors and city leaders have often clashed over the best way to tackle the pandemic, leading to a confusing patchwork of rules on issues like mask wearing in public and when businesses can open. President Donald Trump recently shifted his tone. He had been previously been reluctant to wear a mask himself but this week encouraged Americans to wear masks and recently appeared in public for the first time with a face covering.