US surpasses 3 million coronavirus infections
The United States surpassed 3 million coronavirus infections on Wednesday, a grim milestone as the virus surges in more than half of all states, and a predicted waning of infections this summer never occurred.
Data from the John Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center showed the U.S. had 3,009,611 cases at midday on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the U.S. set a record with 60,000 new cases. California and Texas both had more than 10,000 new cases in a single day, shattering previous records.
Arizona, Florida, and South Carolina led the world in new cases over the last seven days, according to New York Times data.
Hospitals in Florida have run out of beds in their intensive care units, even as Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) continues to downplay the situation and refuses to release critical information about hospitalizations.
While experts previously predicted a summer lull in infections, that never materialized. Many states, facing pressure from business leaders and from the White House, rushed to reopen without fully anticipating the impact on new infections.
White House coronavirus task force coordinator Deborah Birx on Tuesday said in a Sirius XM interview that states ignored guidelines put in place by federal and local public health officials, and “stepped on the gas” while reopening, causing this new surge.
After calling on governors to reopen state economies, the Trump administration has now shifted its attention to pressure schools to fully reopen in the fall.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released guidance for safely reopening schools, but President Trump on Wednesday tweeted his displeasure with his own public health agency. He said the guidelines were too burdensome and “expensive,” and indicated he would be meeting with the agency in an effort to change them.
Testing capacity is being strained in those states with the largest number of new infections, and supply chain issues that plagued the country early in the pandemic have resurfaced.
While Trump and other administration officials have latched onto a declining fatality rate as a sign of progress, Anthony Fauci on Tuesday said focusing on that one statistic is a “false narrative.”
“There’s so many other things that are very dangerous and bad about this virus, don’t get yourself into a false complacency,” Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, said.
Deaths are a lagging indicator in an outbreak, and will rise as people generally don’t die until weeks after they become sick. In addition, many of the newly infected have been young people, who generally tend to be healthier
“But that doesn’t mean that you could not get seriously ill,” Fauci said.
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