Over the past two weeks, the United States has recorded more than 915,000 new cases of coronavirus – that’s more than the cases reported nationwide for the entire month of June.
The staggering number indicates the United States is still a long way from containing the virus, which is rampant in American communities, overwhelming hospitals and testing labs. The spread has promised bleak prospects for the coming months, according to health officials and the President. And experts have pointed out that the actual number of infections is likely much higher than the reported cases.
It comes as some US leaders have now admitted that parts of the country reopened too soon. And as they did, residents were too quick to revert to their old ways of crowding bars, packing beaches on hot summer days, hosting barbecues, and vacationing with friends.
The surge in new cases in the south and southwest is now linked to Americans traveling around Memorial Day and reopening, White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr Deborah Birx said on Wednesday.
“This epidemic appeared simultaneously in the South and the West after June 10,” she told Fox News. “We have seen a large virus spread through counties, rural areas, small subways and major subways, all the way south, southwest and west, almost simultaneously.
In hopes of catching up with the spread, at least 27 states have paused or canceled plans to reopen. In Houston, Mayor Sylvester Turner once again spoke out in favor of a second stay-at-home order amid an increase in cases. In Los Angeles, the mayor said the city was on the brink of another lockdown. But in Georgia, the governor criticized Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ decision to return to Phase 1 – where residents are ordered to return home except for essential travel.
What comes next is unclear: With now at least 41 states requiring face masks, some have said that strict measures such as limiting gatherings and enforcing social distancing and masks could have just as many consequences. impact than another lock. But others are not so optimistic.
“Masks will help, but I think we need a lot more than masks to contain this epidemic that is crossing our country like a freight train,” said William Haseltine, president and chairman of the Global Health Think Tank, ACCESS Health International.
“Until we see major behavioral changes and see public health services here moving forward with a lot more resources, we’re not sure we contain this. “
Louisiana on track to reach 100,000 cases
Louisiana, where the governor said earlier this month that June’s progress against the virus had been wiped out within weeks, is expected to join at least 11 other states that reported a total of more than 100,000 infections.
These include California (with most cases), New York, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, Georgia, Arizona, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.
In Texas, the state broke its record for hospitalizations two days in a row this week, with 10,848 patients reported on Tuesday and 10,893 reported on Wednesday. It also reported its highest number of fatalities in a single day on Wednesday: 197.
And in Florida, more than four dozen hospitals reported that there were no more intensive care beds available this weekend. But the governor said this week that the state was “on the right track.”
Governor Ron DeSantis said on Wednesday parents should have the option to send their children back to class or have them learn digitally at home, adding that “the costs of closing schools are enormous.”
Covid-19 could be the second leading cause of death in Los Angeles
California topped New York with the highest number of cases in the country this week. With more than 420,000 cases, the state has seen a recent surge as reported infections in New York have slowed dramatically. California hit another high of new cases, reporting 12,807 positive tests in one day, Governor Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday.
Los Angeles County health officials announced on Wednesday that the virus is on track to be the second leading cause of death in the county – with at least 3,400 deaths in the first six months of the year.
That would mean the disease will take more victims than Alzheimer’s disease and stroke, health officials said. Coronary artery disease, the leading cause of death, killed 6,000 in the first six months of 2019.
The news comes after the county reported 2,232 hospital patients on Monday, breaking its own record for daily hospitalizations at least four times a week. 2,207 confirmed cases were hospitalized as of Wednesday, 27% of them in intensive care, health officials said.
Meanwhile, San Francisco is on “high alert” after recording an average of 79 new cases every day this week and seeing a 23% increase in hospitalizations, Public Health Director Grant Colfax said Wednesday.
These two numbers play a key role in helping officials determine whether to suspend or cancel the reopening, Colfax added.
Fauci: “I can’t see us eradicating” the virus
As states focus on tackling the spread of the coronavirus, the country’s leading infectious disease expert says the world can never eradicate the virus, but may be able to control it with a vaccine and the right measures. public health.
“I think with a combination of good public health measures, a degree of global herd immunity and a good vaccine – which I hope and am cautiously optimistic that we will get. I think when you put those three things together, I think we’ll get very good control of that, ”said Dr Anthony Fauci, speaking on a webcast hosted by the TB Alliance.
Earlier this month, the World Health Organization also said it was unlikely the world could eradicate or eliminate Covid-19 anytime soon.
There are now positive results from trials involving three different coronavirus vaccines, but even when a vaccine is approved, great obstacles will remain for distribution.
And another hurdle: Half of Americans would not get a coronavirus vaccine if it were available today due to lack of confidence, former US surgeon general Dr Vivek Murthy told CNN earlier this week.
“We know that vaccine distribution will be difficult enough and if people are unwilling to take it because we haven’t gained enough public trust, it will seriously compromise our ability to build herd immunity. Said Murthy.