The number of people in the US with new confirmed COVID-19 infections reached a one-day record on Thursday, according to data reported by state health departments as of 6:15 p.m. Worldometer reported that Thursday’s total of 40,184 cases across the US surpassed the previous one-day high on Wednesday of 38,390.
The health departments in four states—Texas, Alabama, Missouri and Nevada—all recorded single-day highs for new cases on Thursday. Texas reported 5,996 new coronavirus cases, moving the rolling average to 4,581, which is higher than it was 31 days ago on Memorial Day. In all, twelve US states hit new rolling average highs including Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Utah and South Carolina.
Worldometer reported that there was a total of 2,504,588 cases and 126,780 deaths from coronavirus in the US as of Thursday evening which continues to represent slightly more than one quarter of the worldwide totals.
The Republican governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, announced a “pause” in the reopening of the state in the face of a “massive outbreak” of the coronavirus. Explaining that the rationale for slowing the reopening was entirely related to economic concerns and not the health of the public, Abbott said, “The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses. This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business”
The governor of Arizona, Republican Doug Ducey, also announced a pause in the reopening of his state. Ducey said residents are “safer at home” and reinforced the importance of wearing masks, although he did not issue any new executive orders. The number of new cases in Arizona was 3,056 with 27 new deaths. Ducey said that the virus is present in all 15 counties in the state, adding, “Anyone can get this virus, and anyone can spread this virus. Our numbers continue to go in the wrong direction. The rate of spread of this virus is unacceptable.”
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, also a Republican, raised concerns about the 895 new cases on Wednesday, the largest increase in the state since April. DeWine said, “We have increased testing, but we do not believe this increase in cases is completely due to testing,” emphasizing that hospitalizations have increased and those being infected are trending younger. In Belmont County, Ohio, 25 out of a group of 45 students who went on a senior trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, one week ago have confirmed cases of COVID-19.
US President Donald Trump responded Thursday with an effort to dismiss the latest evidence that a surge in coronavirus cases is underway and to blame China for the fact that the US remains the worldwide epicenter of pandemic cases and deaths. Speaking at a shipbuilding plant in Marinette, Wisconsin, Trump said, “We have cases because you test. Deaths are down,” and added later, “It came from China, and it hit 188 countries—not good, not good.”
Speaking in Ohio on Thursday, Vice President Mike Pence claimed the administration is “working continuously” with the Sunbelt states where the surge is concentrated after restrictions were eased earlier than states with the first wave of the pandemic. Pence, who is leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, which has not held a public briefing since April 27, tried to cover over the danger posed by the surge by claiming “in some 38 states across the country, cases are stable or even declining.”
The fraud of the White House working with the states’ pandemic response was exposed by the Trump administration’s confirmation on Wednesday that it is planning to end federal support for COVID-19 testing at 13 sites, including seven in the state of Texas. Funding and support for sites in Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Colorado will end this month.
Four of the Texas sites, which administer thousands of COVID-19 tests per day, scheduled to lose funding are in Harris county, which includes Houston, where doctors have said hospitals are reaching capacity. Hospitalizations from coronavirus in Texas have risen 60 percent in the last week.
The surge in coronavirus cases across the US is a mounting social disaster that is the predictable outcome of the premature reopening of states that had relatively low numbers of cases and deaths in the months of March, April and May as compared to states such as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Louisiana and Michigan.
On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the number of Americans infected with coronavirus is likely about 10 times higher than the 2.3 million cases officially reported so far. On a call with reporters, Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the CDC, said, “Our best estimate right now is that for every case that’s reported, there actually are 10 other infections.”
Redfield went on to say, “We obviously are concerned. We may have a lag in what we see in hospitalizations and deaths because that can lag by three or four weeks, but I’m asking people to recognize we’re in a different situation today than we were in March or April.”
Redfield also said, “When you must go out into the community, being in contact with few people is better than many, [and] shorter periods are better than longer.” People should maintain social distancing, Redfield said, and they should wash hands frequently and properly wear a face covering when they are unable to socially distance.
The CDC also reported on Thursday that, according to a new report, pregnant women may be at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared with women who are not expecting. Sara Oliver of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases said the new report, based on a study of pregnant women with confirmed cases of the virus, showed, “Pregnant women were 50 percent more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit and 70 percent more likely to receive mechanical ventilation.”