US passes 4 million coronavirus infections

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The United States surpassed 4 million confirmed coronavirus infections on Thursday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, a grim milestone that shows just how badly the country is losing the fight against the virus.

Despite the efforts of President Trump and members of his administration to paint a positive picture several months into the crisis, the U.S. is struggling to contain a virus that is now spreading widely across large swaths of the country.

Hospitalizations are spiking, the positivity rate is rising and multiple states are reporting daily records on the number of cases and deaths. The U.S. reported more than 1,100 deaths two days in a row this week, the highest since late May, and more than 143,000 people have died nationwide, according to Johns Hopkins figures.

Public health experts have argued the actual numbers are likely much higher, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) saying the number of infections may be up to 10 times higher than reported.

According to the COVID Tracking Project, 59,628 people were being treated at hospitals Wednesday, which is just under the peak of 59,940 on April 15, when the outbreak was concentrated primarily in the New York area.

California on Wednesday passed New York in the number of total confirmed coronavirus cases, although the state’s number of deaths and cases per 100,000 people are still much lower than New York’s. 

Hot spots are booming in the South and West, including Texas, Louisiana, Arizona and Florida, but cases are rising in a majority of states and in Washington, D.C.

Trump and his allies have repeatedly said that more testing explains the increase in cases, though experts say that doesn’t explain all of the rise in infections, noting that the positivity rate — the percentage of tests that come back positive — has also been climbing.

The president on Tuesday cautioned that the virus would get “worse before it gets better” while on Wednesday once again said testing was “overrated” and “makes us look bad.” Trump this week has urged Americans to wear face masks, wash their hands and practice physical distancing to help stem the spread of the disease.

Tags Coronavirus coronavirus pandemic Coronavirus testing COVID-19 Donald Trump
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