Public health experts are urging Americans to continue to follow guidelines to stop the spread of the coronavirus as seven US states. USA They reported record hospitalizations for respiratory illness and 19 others saw the number of new cases increase compared to last week.
The increase is hitting states that eased blocking restrictions in the past month, while states that have been under tighter control, such as New York, show sustained declines in cases. The federal government is also beginning to reverse trial programs, even in states most affected by the resurgence of cases.
The United States has had more than 2.3 million confirmed cases and more than 121,000 deaths since the pandemic began.
Record-setting hospitalizations have been reported by Arizona, Arkansas, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, indicating that the increase in cases is not simply due to increased evidence, contrary to the views recently put forth by Donald Trump. .
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former FDA commissioner, said Wednesday that he expected hospitals in Texas, California, Florida and Arizona would have to suspend elective surgeries again.
“They are going to be on a trajectory to feel overwhelmed again,” Gottlieb said on CNBC.
Epidemiologist Caitlin Rivers warned that the national case count is going in the “wrong direction.”
Rivers, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Safety, said that in addition to her concerns about increasing hospitalizations, she was concerned about the higher percentage of positive tests.
“In some ways, this feels worse than April, because at least then there was energy around gaining control,” Rivers tweeted. “I feel less than that now.”
Rivers is one of several public health experts who express concern that people take public health guidelines less seriously, although the threat of infection persists.
The states of the USA USA They have eased blocking restrictions, but with inconsistent policies on what can be opened, where crowds can gather, and how much these rules apply. Outside of a Trump rally in Phoenix on Tuesday, few people wore masks and social distancing guidelines were ignored.
Despite easing restrictions across the country, it’s still important to follow local health guidelines. This includes wearing masks, washing your hands frequently, and isolating yourself if you experience symptoms of Covid-19.
In Texas, Governor Greg Abbott urged people to stay home because a children’s hospital in Houston was forced to admit adults due to the increase in coronavirus cases. “The safest place for you is your home,” Abbott said Tuesday.
One point of hope is that coronavirus deaths in the United States have decreased nationally. Public health experts have not determined why, but have said it could be because treatments are improving or more people are experiencing mild infections. However, deaths are also a lagging indicator, and the improvement in numbers could change in the coming weeks.
Amid the surge in cases, the Trump administration is finalizing funding and support for 19 test sites in states like Texas this month, local officials told Talking Points Memo.
Rocky Vaz, director of emergency management for the city of Dallas, told the website that the city had asked the federal government to extend the testing program, but declined.
Testing is crucial to monitor the spread of the disease and to help people know when to isolate and warn others of possible exposure.
Trump claimed he ordered administration officials to delay testing at a rally this weekend in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Senior management figures insisted the comment was a joke, but on Tuesday morning, Trump stood firm on the comments and said, “I’m not kidding.”
On Tuesday, US health leaders accused of responding to the outbreak contradicted Trump’s claim that he had asked officials to slow down the speed of testing.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, stated that he had not been told to slow down the tests. “In fact, we will do more tests,” Fauci said.
At the hearing, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), also denied being told to slow down the tests.
Redfield and other panel members said the outbreak had overwhelmed the public health system, which was no longer underfunded.
Redfield told the House energy and commerce committee: “We have all done the best we can to combat this virus and the reality is that it has brought this nation to its knees.”