Although the overall number of U.S. Covid-19 cases has shown signs of leveling off, deaths are still climbing sharply—and according to National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci, the United States still doesn't have "even modestly good control" of the coronavirus.
Covid-19 deaths continue to rise
Over the past two weeks, the overall number of Covid-19 cases has increased less than 1% while hospitalizations rose 4%, Axios reports. But the seven-day rolling average of Covid-19 deaths increased 29%.
On average, the United States is experiencing around 1,500 Covid-19 deaths per day for the first time since March, and since the beginning of August, daily Covid-19 death totals have more than quintupled, Axios reports.
Over the past two weeks, around 152,000 Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus each day on average.
Some states, including Florida, Louisiana, and Mississippi, have seen improvements in their Covid-19 numbers but still maintain fairly high rates. Florida, for example, saw its Covid-19 cases drop 23% and hospitalizations drop 17% over the past two weeks, but the state is still averaging 345 Covid-19 deaths per day.
Meanwhile, other states in the South, including Alabama, South Carolina, and Tennessee, are seeing the biggest increase in Covid-19 cases, as are Ohio and West Virginia, Axios reports.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 26.9% of all new weekly Covid-19 cases nationwide are in children.
These increases have started straining hospitals nationwide. In Idaho, hospitals started rationing care in response to Covid-19 surges this week. Meanwhile, West Virginia reported record numbers of Covid-19 patients in the ICU and on ventilators, and Wisconsin hospitals have said they're running low on ICU beds, Axios reports.
US doesn't have 'even modestly good control' of the coronavirus
According to Fauci, Covid-19 cases are 10 times the rate necessary to bring the pandemic to a close, meaning the pandemic will continue until more Americans get vaccinated.
"The endgame is to suppress the virus. Right now, we're still in pandemic mode, because we have 160,000 new infections a day," Fauci said. "That's not even modestly good control … which means it's a public health threat."
"In a country of our size, you can't be hanging around and having 100,000 infections a day," Fauci added. "You've got to get well below 10,000 before you start feeling comfortable."
Once enough Americans have been vaccinated, Fauci said, "you'll still get some people getting infected, but you're not going to have it as a public health threat." (Reed, Axios, 9/9; O'Reilly, Axios, 9/9)