The United States surpassed 8 million recorded coronavirus cases on Friday, another unwanted mark for the country with the most cases and the worst toll from the global pandemic, approaching 220,000.
Although there are no signs that the pandemic is under control in the United States, Thursday Donald Trump said the virus would “go away.”
Cases are increasing in 32 states, holding up in 15, and declining in just three: Louisiana, Kentucky and Vermont.
According to Johns Hopkins University, mid-afternoon Friday the United States had confirmed 8,008,402 cases since March. As of Thursday, 63,610 new cases were reported, the highest total in a single day since mid-August. The United States is experiencing an average increase of 50,000 cases per day.
At an event in Florida earlier Friday, Trump insisted, “We are turning the corner. I say that all the time.
But experts have warned of an increased spread of the virus in the Midwest, as the weather cools and more Americans congregate indoors.
Wisconsin has set up emergency overflow hospitals and the National Guard is helping out additional testing sites.
“We are in crisis here in Wisconsin,” said Julie Willems Van Dijk, assistant secretary of state health services. “The trajectory does not look good. We must be prepared for this.
In Utah, Gary Herbert, the Republican Governor, said, “Our hospitals are overwhelmed. The dramatic increase in infections has put the integrity of our healthcare system at risk.
Herbert said the National Guard was ready to build a field hospital at a convention center outside of Salt Lake City. On Tuesday, he ordered that masks be worn at all outdoor events.
Hot spots are also popping up in Oklahoma, Wyoming, Missouri, Mississippi, and North Dakota.
Missouri reported limited intensive care capacity “in many areas.”
Indiana faces “a critical shortage of intensive care beds and a shortage of staff,” said Chief Medical Officer Lindsay Weaver. In late September, Republican Governor Eric Holcomb lifted most restrictions on coronaviruses. Now officials are asking for volunteers to fill staffing gaps at some hospitals.
Further south, parts of Texas and New Mexico are struggling. The border town of El Paso, in West Texas, has reported that it has a shortage of intensive care beds.
New Mexico Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the early closure of restaurants and bars, limited gatherings to no more than five and said: “This is the most serious emergency New Mexico has. never known. “
In an online conversation Friday between Dr Anthony Fauci and experts at Johns Hopkins University, the nation’s leading infectious disease public health expert warned Americans to avoid public health advice: “In not wearing a mask and socially distancing you become part of the problem when you should be part of the solution. “
Trump belatedly recommended wearing masks, after months of rejecting and discouraging them and avoiding wearing one himself.
The president caught coronavirus earlier this month and was hospitalized for several days.