The U.S. reached 3 million covid-19 cases on Wednesday and broke its own record for the most new cases in a single day on Tuesday, chalking up 60,209 infections in a 24-hour period, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University and AFP. The record was smashed on the same day the U.S. formally announced it was revoking its membership in the World Health Organisation, a global body founded in 1948 to combat precisely the kind of pandemic that’s currently raging worldwide.
The U.S. currently has just shy of 3 million infections — a grim milestone that will likely be met today — and over 131,000 deaths, by far the worst outbreak in the world. The Trump regime formally notified the United Nations, which oversees WHO, and U.S. Congress on Tuesday that it would exit the organisation, a decision that will be finalised on July 6, 2021.
While the U.S. officially saw over 60,000 infections diagnosed yesterday, many public health experts believe that’s just a fraction of the real number of cases in the country. Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb often gives interviews to CNBC and CBS News and estimates the country is only identifying about one in ten of the actual infections in the country. By a conservative estimate that would mean the U.S. is actually seeing about 600,000 new cases of covid-19 per day.
Several U.S. states are seeing a surge in the number of cases diagnosed this week, though the death rate has been lower than it was during the height of New York’s crisis in April and May. The U.S. recorded 902 new deaths from covid-19 on Tuesday, creeping up from numbers that were closer to 300-500 deaths daily for the past few weeks. Texas alone reported 10,028 new covid-19 cases on Tuesday, a new record, and 60 new deaths.
Hospitalisations appear to be reaching a tipping point in America’s hotspots, with the hospitals in Florida’s largest cities like Miami, Tampa, and Orlando hitting capacity, according to CNN. Walt Disney World, which is located in the Orlando metro area, still plans to reopen this coming weekend despite the skyrocketing infections in the Sunshine State. Florida reported 9,989 new cases on Wednesday and 48 new deaths.
When these epicenters are examined by population size, states like Arizona are actually faring the worst, according to the New York Times, which included a troubling graphic this morning in its coronavirus news roundup. If you break out individual U.S. states as if they’re countries, they have worse outbreaks relative to population than some of the worst-hit countries in the world.
Arizona has had more new virus cases (per capita) over the last week than any country in the world.
Here's a ranking that treats each U.S. state as a country:
3. S. Carolina
— David Leonhardt (@DLeonhardt) July 8, 2020
Incredibly, a covid test is still difficult to get in many parts of the country, and getting a timely one is even harder. The mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Lance Bottoms, tweeted this morning that her family finally received the results today for tests that had been taken eight days ago.
Bottoms tweeted that her family would have made decisions about quarantine much more quickly if she had gotten the information sooner. Bottoms had previously announced that while she’s asymptomatic, her husband is sleeping day and night while struggling with the disease.
We FINALLY received our test results taken 8 days before. One person in my house was positive then. By the time we tested again, 1 week later, 3 of us had COVID. If we had known sooner, we would have immediately quarantined. Perhaps the National Guard can help with testing too.
— Keisha Lance Bottoms (@KeishaBottoms) July 8, 2020
By contrast, other countries around the world that have successfully managed the pandemic are doing their best to put out a new resurgence of the infection. Australia is seeing about 150 new cases per day and on Wednesday locked down Victoria, the second-most populous state and the location of Melbourne, in order to control the spread.
Hong Kong has also seen a new surge of infections this week with 19 new locally-acquired cases today and nine cases on Tuesday. The semi-autonomous region is currently conducting contact tracing for the new infections, but six of the new cases today and five of the cases from Tuesday are still of unknown origin, according to Singapore’s Strait Times, making it difficult to track and isolate people in order to control the spread.
New Zealand, the envy of the public health world for eradicating the disease, has been struggling to maintain security at its quarantine hotels, with one returning New Zealander who tested positive travelling to a convenience store yesterday and taking a walk around the city of Auckland before he was found. It’s believed the man, reportedly in his 30s, didn’t come in close contact with anyone but he still faces a heavy fine and jail time for breaching quarantine rules.
But none of those other locations around the world compare to the completely uninhibited pandemic currently raging in the U.S. — a country that seems to have given up on trying to control the virus in the name of “reopening” the economy.
The only problem? You can “reopen” the economy all you want, but that doesn’t mean people are going to put themselves in harm’s way just so that they can go out to eat at a restaurant or go to see a movie in the theatre Or maybe they will. Walt Disney World’s online reservation system recently crashed because there were too many people signing up to visit the Florida theme parks this weekend.
Trump didn’t create the pandemic, but he’s sure as shit doing everything he can to make it worse. The hard part at this point is figuring out how to stop him. Given that he’s the most powerful person in the world and has many, many resources at his disposal, that seems nearly impossible, as he bragged online this morning that he would interfere with the CDC’s latest guidelines for schools.
Stay safe out there, friends.