New York is no longer the epicenter of America's coronavirus epidemic, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) on Wednesday announcing that the state now has one of the country's lowest growth rates of newly reported cases of the novel virus. But data shows the growth rates of new coronavirus cases are accelerating in 20 other states—and at least 20 metro areas have outpaced New York City when it comes to daily growth in new cases.
US new coronavirus cases near 2.2M, deaths near 118K
As of Thursday morning, officials also had reported a total of 117,743 U.S. deaths linked to the new coronavirus—up from 116,979 deaths reported as of Wednesday morning.
Where rates of newly reported coronavirus infections are decreasing, staying the same—and rising
In some cities and states that once were epicenters of the country's new coronavirus epidemic, rates of newly confirmed cases of the virus have steadily declined for several weeks. For example, Cuomo on Wednesday said New York's rate of newly confirmed coronavirus infections fell below 1% on Tuesday, and the state has seen steady decreases in its rates of hospitalizations and deaths tied to the virus.
In addition to New York, data from the New York Times shows Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and 20 states—Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin—have seen their growth rates of newly confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus decrease over the past 14 days.
The data also shows that the growth rates of newly reported cases over the past two weeks remained nearly constant in Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Guam.
But the Times' data shows that 20 states—Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming—saw their growth rates of newly reported cases of the novel coronavirus accelerate over the past 14 days. In fact, Arizona, Florida, and Texas this week each reported record-high single-day increases in new cases.
Further, according to an analysis of the Times' data by Nephron Research, at least 20 metropolitan areas have surpassed New York City with their rates of daily case growth. According to the analysis, the 20 metro areas with the highest daily rates of newly reported infections as of Wednesday were:
- Los Angeles-Long Beach;
- Riverside-San Bernadino;
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater;
- Austin-San Marcos;
- Salt Lake City-Ogden;
- Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill;
- Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill;
- Minneapolis-St. Paul; and
Trump, contradicting state and local officials, says epidemic will 'fade away'
Although the numbers of newly reported coronavirus cases and related deaths continue to rise throughout the United States, President Trump during an interview with Fox News on Wednesday said the country's coronavirus epidemic will "fade away," even if a vaccine against the virus doesn't become available.
Trump said, "We're very close to a vaccine and we're very close to therapeutics, really good therapeutics. But even without that, I don't even like to talk about that, because it's fading away, it's going to fade away, but having a vaccine would be really nice and that's going to happen."
Trump also said the United States would not reimplement stay-at-home orders and business closures to curb the new coronavirus' spread. "We won't be closing the country again. We won't have to do that."
Trump's comments run contrary to warnings from some state and local officials that they may have to reimpose coronavirus-related business closures and restrictions to contain the virus (Szekely, Reuters, 6/17; Singer-Vine, BuzzFeed News, 5/27; Hellmann, The Hill, 6/17; Owens, "Vitals," Axios, 6/18; Wingrove, Bloomberg/TIME, 6/18; Brice/Beech, Reuters, 6/17; New York Times, 6/18).