NEW YORK, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- The year 2020 has been like "something out of a Hollywood movie" for many Americans. The country has been hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, it witnessed nationwide protests against racial injustice and one of the most divisive presidential elections in history.
When Americans were asked to describe the year 2020 in a single word in a recent survey, nearly one in four of them used "awful,""terrible," or "horrible."
The USA Today/Suffolk University poll of 1,000 registered voters taken on Dec. 16-20 also found that 15 percent of the respondents used expletives, and that nearly all of them cited words that reflected strain or pain.
To make things worse, the number of COVID-19 infections keeps surging in the new year.
On Friday, the total number of COVID-19 cases in the United States topped 20 million, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.
Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, in an interview on MSNBC criticized the divisiveness in the country that prevented a united fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it's "unimaginable" that some Americans still believe the pandemic is "fake news" after all the lives lost.
By far, the United States remains the nation worst hit by the pandemic, with the world's most cases and deaths, making up more than 23 percent of the global caseload.
It took 292 days for the U.S. to reach its first 10 million cases, but only 54 more days to double it, CNN reported on Friday.
The grim numbers could climb further nationwide in the coming weeks due to a surge of gatherings and travels over the holidays despite warnings against doing so amid the worsening pandemic, according to public heath experts.
Fauci predicted on Thursday that normal life would not resume for most Americans until as late as fall in 2021.
"It's going to take several months... It's not going to happen in the first few months," Fauci said in an interview on MSNBC. "If we do it correctly, hopefully, as we get into the end of the summer, the beginning of the fall of 2021, we can start to approach some degree of normality."