Single-day US coronavirus infections top 50,000 for first time
The U.S. on Wednesday reported more than 50,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus as states across the nation paused reopening plans due to a recent surge in infections.
The figure represented a new single-day high in the country, which has reported approximately 2.6 million total cases of COVID-19 and 128,000 deaths caused by it. Health officials on Wednesday reported about 50,700 confirmed virus cases, according to a Johns Hopkins University database, marking a jump from the previous single-day high of 45,300 cases.
While the initial epicenter of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak was in the New York metropolitan area, states such as California, Texas, Arizona and Florida are now accounting for a substantial portion of the country’s cases. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and a key member of the White House coronavirus task force, testified before Congress on Tuesday that those states were accounting for about 50 percent of the country’s new cases on average.
Fauci warned that the U.S. could reach a level at which it’s reporting more than 100,000 new cases of COVID-19 each day if states cannot control its spread.
Texas and Florida last week paused reopening plans and ordered bars to close their doors after seeing a consistent uptick in cases. Texas continued to report new single-day highs in cases this week. On Wednesday, state health authorities reported more than 8,000 new infections for the first time, according to Reuters. Georgia, Ohio and Arizona reported new single-day highs as well, with South Carolina reporting a record 24 deaths caused by the virus.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who was one of the first state leaders to impose a stay-at-home order in March, on Wednesday ordered indoor nonessential businesses in 19 counties across the state to close. The order applies to Los Angeles and Orange counties, two of the state’s most populated areas. The directive came the same day California reported 110 new deaths caused by the virus, the most the state has recorded since April, the governor said.
New York, New Jersey and Indiana are among the other states to have paused reopening plans in recent days.
The consistent uptick in cases in many parts of the U.S. has led to a more aggressive push from health officials and lawmakers for Americans to practice social distancing and wear face masks. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said earlier this week that a nationwide mask mandate was “long overdue.”
But President Trump on Wednesday claimed that the threat of the virus would eventually “just disappear.”
“We’re headed back in a very strong fashion with a ‘V,'” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business, referring to a V-shaped economic recovery. “And I think we’re going to be very good with the coronavirus. I think that at some point that’s going to sort of just disappear, I hope.”