Dr Anthony Fauci says US facing 'disturbing surge' in coronavirus cases

Coronavirus ‘spiralling out of control’ in US as 26 states report increase in average daily cases

'It is snowballing. We will most certainly see more people die as a result of this spike'


Louise Hall
Friday 26 June 2020 14:46

The coronavirus pandemic in the US is “spiralling out of control,” experts have warned, with at least 26 states recording an increase in cases compared to last week.

California recorded 5,019 new cases on Monday, a record rise of the state's daily case number for the fourth time in a week. In Florida, officials announced 3,289 confirmed new cases in a day as infections surpassed 100,000.

Meanwhile, the governor of Texas urged people to stay home and to wear masks if they leave the house as state's infections tally also rose.

“Because the spread is so rampant right now, there's never a reason for you to have to leave your home. Unless you do need to go out, the safest place for you is at your home,” governor Greg Abbott told KBTX.

The daily number of new coronavirus cases across the US has reached more than 26,000, up from about 21,000 two weeks ago, according to an analysis by the Associated Press.

Experts have said the steep rise in cases is likely to have been caused by states ending their lockdowns too quickly.

“It is snowballing. We will most certainly see more people die as a result of this spike,” said Dr Marc Boom, president of Houston Methodist Hospital.

“It is possible to open up at a judicious pace and coexist with the virus, but it requires millions and millions of people to do the right thing,” he added.

According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, 26 states have seen their daily number of new coronavirus cases increase: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Cases of the disease are on the decline in 14 other states: Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Vermont.

In the rest, new infections remain roughly steady.

Donald Trump claimed at this first campaign rally in three months last week that the number of cases of Covid-19 was only rising as a result of continued coronavirus testing throughout the country.

“Here’s the bad part: When you do testing to that extent, you’re going to find more people, you’re going to find more cases. So I said to my people, 'Slow the testing down please," the president said at the event in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday.

However, top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci undercut Mr Trump’s claims on Tuesday, insisting that health policy advisers had not been told to slow down.

“None of us have ever been told to slow down on testing. That just is a fact,” Dr Fauci told a House committee, a direct contradiction of Mr Trump's comments at a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, over the weekend.

During testimony to the House of Representatives committee on Tuesday, Dr Fauci labelled the situation “a mixed bag”.

He said: “In some respects, we’ve done very well. Right now the New York metropolitan area, which has been hit extraordinarily hard, has done very well in bringing the cases down and using the guidelines that we have very carefully put together in a stepwise fashion to try and carefully reopen their city and their state.

“However, in other areas of the country, we’re now seeing a disturbing surge of infections that looks like it’s a combination, but one of the things is an increase in community spread … We were going down from 30,000 [new cases a day] to 25, to 20, now we sort of stayed about flat and now we’re going up."

Governor Ron DeSantis said the record daily figures of new cases in Florida were not caused by an increase in testing, as the rate of positive tests had also risen.

In Europe, many countries are seeing a continued fall in cases and deaths after prolonging lockdown and slowly re-opening their economies and relaxing restrictions.

Across the US, more than 2,300,000 people have been infected with the disease with over 120,000 deaths as of Wednesday.

Worldwide there have been almost 9,200,000 infections and almost 500,000 deaths.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press

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