US reports record 36,880 new coronavirus cases
The U.S. on Wednesday reported a record 36,880 new coronavirus cases more than two months after its previous record for daily infections, a signal that the country is struggling to contain the pandemic.
Wednesday’s total is 2,000 more than on Tuesday, when 34,700 new cases of COVID-19 were reported nationally, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
New daily cases in the U.S. had hit a peak at 36,739 cases on April 24 and had consistently been on a downward trajectory for weeks until recent spikes in a slate of states, particularly in those that had enacted aggressive reopening plans.
The new surge in cases is focused largely in the South and West, with Arizona, Florida and Texas reporting their largest single-day totals on Tuesday. Cases have risen in nearly two dozen states in total, including California and Washington state, which both received praise after effectively tackling some of the country’s earliest outbreaks.
The surge marks a juxtaposition to other states that initially had severe outbreaks such as New York, which has since managed to flatten the curve after implementing stringent social distancing and other health measures.
Governors across the country are taking an array of actions to try to blunt the spread of the highly infectious virus, with Gov. Jay Inslee (D) of Washington state urging residents to wear masks, wash hands and take other precautions and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) announcing Wednesday that he would pause his state’s reopening plan.
However, other governors are eager to continue their reopening despite the surge, seemingly wary of the economic toll of shuttering businesses for a second time.
“We are NOT overwhelmed. We are NOT currently experiencing a second wave. We have NO intentions of closing Missouri back down at this point in time,” tweeted Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R). “We continue to monitor our state-specific data on a daily basis, and we remain confident that we are on the road to recovery!”
We are NOT overwhelmed.
We are NOT currently experiencing a second wave.
We have NO intentions of closing Missouri back down at this point in time.
We continue to monitor our state-specific data on a daily basis, and we remain confident that we are on the road to recovery!
— Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) June 23, 2020
President Trump has sought to downplay the spike in daily cases, saying the rise could be attributed to the increased number of tests being performed.
“When you have all those tests, you have more cases,” Trump said at a rally in Phoenix on Tuesday. “We want to do testing. We want to do everything, but they use it to make us look bad.”
The surge cannot be explained by increased testing alone, however, as the percentage of people testing positive for the virus has also surged.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.