“We have it totally under control,” President Txxxx said in late January. A month later: “The coronavirus is very much under control in the USA”. . . .
The virus is “getting under control,” he said Wednesday.
As reported tonight by The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times:
The seven-day average for daily new cases in the United States reached a record high — 49,600 — for the 27th straight day.
Thirteen states reported new highs in their seven-day averages. South Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Nevada and California reported record numbers of current Covid-19 hospitalizations.
After Texas reported another single-day record for new cases over the weekend, Austin Mayor Steve Adler said there won’t be enough medical personnel to keep up with the spike in cases if the rate of increase continued unabated in his city. Intensive care units in the city could be overflowing within 10 days. He currently lacks the authority to impose a shelter-in-place order for the city.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said hospitals in his city face staffing shortages as demand for ICU beds is increasing exponentially. Demand for testing has also outstripped the city’s capacity, he said, and the positivity rate has soared from 10 percent a month ago to 25 percent recently.
Mayor Kate Gallego of Phoenix said that with cases and death counts soaring in Arizona, testing sites in her city and surrounding Maricopa County are overwhelmed, but the Federal Emergency Management Agency has rebuffed her pleas for help. More than 20 percent of tests in Arizona are coming back positive now, Gallego said. “Public health officials tell me that when you’re doing the appropriate amount of testing, it should be around 2 percent,” she said.
Gallego said federal officials had dismissed her requests to conduct community-based testing in the area after people reported waiting in line for six hours at some testing sites. “We were told they’re moving away from that,” she said, “which feels like they are declaring victory while we’re still in crisis mode”. An aide to the mayor said that FEMA had responded to the city’s most recent request by saying the agency was “getting out of the testing business”.
In Florida, new cases exceeded 10,000 in a day on Sunday for the third time in the past week, after the state posted a record high of 11,400 the previous day. The new infections pushed the state’s total caseload past 200,000, a mark passed by just two other states, New York and California.
Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez said it was “clear that the growth is exponential at this point. . . It’s extremely worrisome”, noting that positivity rates in Miami-Dade County — the share of tests that come back positive — were also now above 20 percent.
Los Angeles County officials reported more than 3,000 cases for Friday — the highest daily total since the pandemic began. The number of hospital patients with confirmed coronavirus infections jumped 41% in the last three weeks. As of Saturday, there were 1,900 people hospitalized in L.A. County with confirmed cases; 28% of those people were in the ICU and 18% were on ventilators. Officials warned last week about “alarming increases in positivity rates and hospitalizations” and projected the possibility of running out of hospital beds in two to three weeks.
The country’s seven-day average of new deaths did fall, but health experts cautioned that the count of infections would soon drive the number back up.
In addition, the death rate does not capture all of the harm caused by the disease. As many as 15 to 20 percent of known Covid-19 patients may require hospitalization, and of the group admitted, 15 to 20 percent are transferred into intensive care, according to some estimates. Many who have recovered are still struggling to regain their pre-disease lives, and may face long-term health issues.
“The virus is getting under control”, he said.