News has been dominated by anti-racism protests for the past two weeks, but Coronavirus is now back in the news.
Several states have seen a record number of cases in the past few days, raising fears that the country will experience a second wave of infections.
But Vice President Mike Pence said the fears were “exaggerated” and accused the media of using “bleak predictions” to scare the American people.
So what’s going on in the united states?
The number of infections is on the rise
With more than two million cases of coronavirus, the United States has the highest number of confirmed cases of infection in the world, about a quarter of the world’s total.
The situation got really bad at the end of March, but by May the cases were on the wane and most states started to relax the restrictions put in place to stop the spread of the virus.
The number of new cases rarely drops below 20,000, however, because some states have brought their homes under control, others are just beginning to see outbreaks.
For this reason, the top American public health for infectious diseases, Anthony Fauci, sees the current situation as a continuation of the first outbreaks.
“People are continuing to speak a second wave,” he told a reporter last week. “We are still in the first wave. ”
Spikes in cases in new hotspots from the country average of seven days on average increased for several days in a row for the first time since cases peaked in early April.
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There are big regional differences
The Northeast was by far the most affected region, with about a quarter of all cases and more than a third of all deaths in the states of New York and New Jersey. But in the past few weeks, the region has brought its outbreaks under control.
The south and west of the country, on the other hand, have seen a big increase in the number of infections, according to data compiled by the Project Monitoring COVID.
There is no debate as to whether the cases are escalating again, but there is no longer any reason.
President Donald Trump accuses him of more hardships, according to the Wall Street Journal, he thinks “screening is overrated” because “in many ways it hurts us. ”
The United States has conducted around 25 million dollars in testing more than any other country to date – so that is only going to explain why it has the highest number of cases in the world, although international comparisons are difficult to do for a number of reasons.
But there is a lot of evidence to suggest the recent surge in infections is more than just more people being tested.
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The increase in the number of cases is not just down for more tests
Twice last week in Arizona saw more new cases on its own than all of the northeastern nine states in the region and it’s not just about increased drug testing.
This is evident when you look at the rates of coronavirus tests that are back positive.
If many tests are done and the spread of the virus has been reduced, then the positive case rate would go down too. If the virus is still widespread, it goes so far.
By the time the rate of positive cases is just below 5% nationally, which is the level the World Health Organization recommends countries be at or below 14 days before relaxing restrictions on the move.
But about a third of the members are above this level, as the graph below shows, and all have reopened to some extent in the past month.
The number of people hospitalized has also increased in a number of these states, including Texas, where some reopened bars and restaurants are now closing their doors again, reports the Texas Tribune, due to fears over a new case outbreak.
Faced with rising caseloads and an economy in desperate need to recover, many officials are looking for a mask to help slow the spread of the virus. California, North Carolina and several cities in the United States mandate and requested their use last week.
But the masks have become more and more politicized in recent weeks, with the President of Trump saying that some people focus on showing opposition to him.
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Deaths are declining – for now
Amidst all the fears about new hotspots, most of the positive news in US today is that daily deaths continue to fall.
They peaked in May when epidemics in the Northeast were at their most intense, with New York state registration alone, around 1,000 per day. This week’s figure is around 40 days.
However, the death toll is a metric that lags behind cases and hospitalizations, as it can take several weeks for those most affected to die from the disease. This means that the consequences of current spikes in case will not be considered for a couple of weeks at least.
If we see the number of deaths up slightly, there will likely be some pressure on governors to reintroduce restrictions, but Dr. Fauci does not think it will happen.
“I don’t think we’re going to talk about going back to lockdown,” he said last week. “I think we’re going to talk about trying to get a better handle on the areas of the country that seem to have a boom. ”
Researchers are competing to produce a vaccine, but it is clear that Americans and the rest of the world will be living with the virus until next year at the earliest.
A forecasting model at runtime by experts at the University of Washington, which has been cited by the White House in the past, predicts death in the United States free of charge will have increased from 200,000 in October – a month before the election.