The daily number of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is the highest it has been since the height of the pandemic two months ago, as several states around the country experience spikes in cases.
On Tuesday, 34,700 new cases of coronavirus were reported, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The school's coronavirus tracker shows only two other days in which more new cases of the virus were recorded: April 9 and 24.
New York, the former epicenter of the virus in the country, has seen a steady decrease in its cases. But states that began their reopening process earlier, including Arizona, Florida, Texas and California, all saw their worst days to date on Tuesday.
“In some respects, we’ve done very well,” Dr. Anthony FauciAnthony FauciSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Journalist Zaid Jilani describes removal of animal rights ad that criticizes Fauci Watch live: White House COVID-19 response team holds briefing MORE, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told Congress Tuesday, specifically praising the way New York has contained the worst outbreak of the virus to date.
“However, in other areas of the country, we are now seeing a disturbing surge of infections that looks like it’s a combination, but one of the things is an increase in community spread. And that’s something I’m really quite concerned about,” he said.
Hospitalizations are increasing and so are the percentage of tests coming back positive, indicators of growing outbreaks in those states.
In recent weeks, the number of new cases had leveled off at about 20,000 before rising again this past weekend.
Public health experts have expressed a sense of exasperation that the public doesn’t appear to be following social distancing measures like mask-wearing, staying away from crowded indoor spaces, and keeping at least 6-feet away from other people.
President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE, who has regularly called for faster reopenings, held a rally at a megachurch in Arizona on Tuesday, despite the state reporting 3,600 new cases. Trump also held a rally over the weekend in Oklahoma, where cases and positivity rates are also increasing.
Outdoor marches and protests have also erupted in recent weeks over police killings of unarmed black people, but it’s not yet clear if those are tied to increases in cases.
Fauci, an integral part of the White House's coronavirus task force, told a congressional panel on Tuesday that the next few weeks are paramount to tamping down the surge.
“Plan A, don’t go in a crowd. Plan B, if you do, make sure you wear a mask,” Fauci said.
Updated at 12:39 p.m.