Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on Tuesday urged Americans not to fall "into false complacency" in regards to the country's coronavirus epidemic, as the number of new coronavirus cases in the United States surged past three million and some states reported record-high increases in their totals of deaths linked to the virus.
US new coronavirus cases surpass 3M, deaths top 131K
U.S. officials reported more than one million new cases of the coronavirus over the past month, including 500,000 new cases since June 26—less than two weeks ago. According to the New York Times, this week alone, the United States has reported an average of about 50,000 new cases per day.
Data from the New York Times shows the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and 36 states saw their average daily numbers of newly reported coronavirus cases rise over the past 14 days: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
On Tuesday, seven states—California, Hawaii, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, and Texas—each reported record-high single-day increases in their totals of new coronavirus cases, the Times reports. The largest daily spikes occurred in California and Texas, which each logged more than 10,000 new cases, according to Reuters.
Meanwhile, the Times' data shows that the average daily numbers of newly reported coronavirus cases over the past two weeks remained mostly stable in Guam; Washington, D.C.; and 14 states: Arkansas, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia.
Although America's coronavirus-related death rate on the whole has declined over the past several weeks, some states are beginning to report spikes in their daily totals of newly reported deaths linked to the virus. On Tuesday, Arizona, Mississippi, and Texas each reported their highest daily increases in coronavirus-related deaths since the country's coronavirus epidemic first began, the Times reports.
As of Wednesday morning, officials had reported a total of 131,329 U.S. deaths linked to the new coronavirus—up from 130,332 deaths reported as of Tuesday morning.
Fauci warns Americans not to 'take comfort in a lower rate of death,' fall 'into false complacency'
Fauci during a livestreamed press conference hosted by Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) on Tuesday said Americans should not "take comfort" in the country's "lower rate of death[s]" linked to the new coronavirus nationwide, because patients who contract the virus and survive still can experience serious health effects.
"The death rate is lower, I admit that. … But that doesn't mean that you could not get seriously ill," Fauci said. "There's so many other things that are very dangerous and bad about this virus, don't get yourself into a false complacency."
Fauci said the United States is experiencing a "resurgence" in its coronavirus epidemic in part because states moved too quickly to reopen nonessential businesses, lift stay-at-home orders, and relax social distancing measures that were intended to curb the virus' spread. He urged Americans to continue practicing social distancing and take other precautions to protect themselves against contracting or transmitting the new coronavirus. "When you look at what we can do that we know works, it's the use of masks, physical distance, and avoiding crowds."
According to Axios' "Vitals," the United States is once again confronting some of the same challenges the country had faced at the beginning of the epidemic, including testing shortages and delays; rising numbers of hospitalizations for Covid-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus; and a scarcity of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers and others.
For example, some states have had to set new restrictions on who can access coronavirus tests, and private laboratories are reporting delays in turnaround times for coronavirus test results.
In addition, the new surges in coronavirus cases are straining hospitals in infection hot spots, such as Florida and Texas.
According to Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration, more than 48 hospitals across 25 of the state's 67 counties have reported that their ICUs have reached capacity. Some hospitals in Texas also are nearing capacity, as the state's number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients grew more than twofold in 14 days.
And as Covid-19 hospitalizations rise, some health care providers are reporting PPE shortages.
"We're five months into this and there are still shortages of gowns, hair covers, shoe covers, masks, N95 masks," said Deborah Burger, president of National Nurses United, citing results from a recent survey of the union's members (O'Hare, Reuters, 7/7; New York Times, 7/8 ; Owens, "Vitals," Axios, 7/8; Hellmann, The Hill, 7/7; Holcombe, CNN, 7/8; Mulvihill/Fassett, Associated Press, 7/7; New York Times, 7/8 ).