Medical staff members push a stretcher with a deceased patient to a car outside the COVID-19 intensive-care unit at the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, in June.
The US has seen a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations since mid-June. On Tuesday, the country reported more than 60,000 new infections.
The US’s epidemic curve is shooting upward, and the number of daily COVID-19 deaths has started to creep up too.
But President Donald Trump still denies that there’s a problem.
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At this point, the numbers speak for themselves.
The coronavirus killed nearly 1,000 Americans on Tuesday, another 950 on Wednesday, and 842 on Thursday— the highest daily death counts reported in a month. Nearly 44,000 Americans have been hospitalized with severe COVID-19 cases, up from 31,000 four weeks ago. The country broke its own record for daily infections yet again on Tuesday, with more than 60,000 new cases reported.
This is not, as President Donald Trump continues to claim, simply a reflection of increased testing — that would not explain the rising hospitalizations and deaths.
Instead, this is a moment of reckoning: The deadly consequences of reopening too early, eschewing masks, and being too slow to ramp up testing and contact tracing are revealing themselves. Expert after expert warned about this a couple of months ago, and now it’s too late.
New projections from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation suggest that 80,000 more people in the US are expected to die of COVID-19 from now until November — more than a 60% increase from where our death toll stood on Friday, at 132,000.