July 1, 2020

America reported 48,000 new coronavirus cases yesterday. Could 100,000 per day be coming?

Daily Briefing

    As the United States reported its highest-ever single-day total of new coronavirus cases, a top health official on Tuesday said the United States is "going in the wrong direction" and could see more than 100,000 cases per day if transmission is not contained.

    US reports single-day record increase of over 48K new coronavirus cases

    The warning comes as U.S. officials as of Wednesday morning reported 2,653,200 total cases of the new coronavirus since the epidemic began—up from 2,604,900 cases as of Tuesday morning.

    U.S. officials on Tuesday reported more than 48,000 new cases of the coronavirus, which is the largest single-day total of new cases reported so far. Tuesday marked the fourth day that the country reported a record-high single-day increase in new cases within the last week, the New York Times reports.

    Coronavirus outbreaks in Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas currently represent half of the new infections in the United States, The Hill reports.

    Data from the New York Times shows that 38 states and Puerto Rico saw their average daily numbers of newly reported cases rise over the past 14 days: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

    On Tuesday, Alaska, Arizona, California, Georgia, Idaho, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas reported their largest single-day increase in cases.

    The spikes in new coronavirus cases are prompting state officials to suspend and roll back their reopening plans. For example, at least 17 states—Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington—have paused their reopening plans as cases have surged and hospitalizations for Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, have risen.

    Meanwhile, the New York Times' data shows that the average daily numbers of newly reported cases over the past two weeks remained mostly stable in Guam and 9 states: Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Virginia.

    Washington, D.C., and three states—Maryland, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island—saw their average daily numbers of newly confirmed cases decrease over the past 14 days, according to the New York Times' data.

    As of Wednesday morning, officials had reported a total of 127,461 U.S. deaths linked to the new coronavirus—up from 126,161 deaths reported as of Tuesday morning.

    Fauci warns US could see up to 100K new coronavirus cases per day

    As America's coronavirus epidemic resurges, Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP) hearing on Tuesday said he expects the rate of newly reported coronavirus cases to climb if outbreaks throughout the country are not contained.

    "We are now having 40-plus-thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around," he said.  

    Fauci said he expects the epidemic to become "very disturbing" because once there is "an outbreak in one part of the country, … other parts of the country … are vulnerable" to flare-ups.

    Fauci said if people continue "congregating, often without masks, … and avoiding and not paying attention to the guidelines that we very carefully put out," the country will "continue to be in a lot of trouble."

    Fauci also said that, even once a vaccine against the new coronavirus becomes available, the country may continue to struggle to contain the virus if a large share of Americans refuse to get vaccinated.

    FDA releases guidance on coronavirus vaccine

    Meanwhile, FDA on Tuesday issued a new guidance clarifying the requirements vaccine makers will need to meet in order to have a coronavirus vaccine approved by the agency.

    To receive FDA approval, a vaccine would need to be at least 50% more effective than a placebo in preventing or decreasing the severity of Covid-19, the guidance said.

    FDA in the guidance said at least the first five coronavirus vaccines approved by the agency will need to fulfill FDA's entire licensure process, which includes Phase 3 clinical trials showing the vaccine protects people against infections or the disease.

    FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said during Tuesday's Senate HELP committee hearing that FDA will expect vaccine makers to include a broad range of patients in their clinical trials, including elderly and minority patients.

    Hahn said FDA has "not lost sight" of the importance of basing regulatory decision on sound data. He said while FDA is committed to quickly approving a coronavirus vaccine, the agency "will not cut corners in our decision-making."

    As such, FDA in the guidance said that accelerated approvals for a vaccine likely will not be possible until more is known about the new coronavirus and that emergency use authorizations will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

    The guidance also said drugmakers will have to monitor the safety of their vaccines after they receive FDA approval (Farzan et al., Washington Post, 7/1; Goldstein, Washington Post, 6/30; Stolberg/Weiland, New York Times, 6/30; Hellmann, The Hill, 6/30; Bote/Hauck, USA Today, 6/30; Bowden, The Hill, 6/30; Chabria, Los Angeles Times, 6/30; Wilson, Washington Post, 6/30; McGinley, Washington Post, 6/30; Weise, USA Today, 6/30; New York Times, 7/1 [1]; New York Times, 7/1 [2]).

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