CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 30, 2020. Kevin Dietsch/Pool via REUTERS

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

The United States set a record for new cases reported in one 24-hour period on Thursday. For the second day in a row, over 60,000 Americans were diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. Driven by daily record surges, the U.S. surpassed three million cases on Wednesday. The first million cases developed over three months, with the next million coming in over a month and a half. It took just under a month to reach 3 million after that.

Due to testing shortages in the U.S., the actual number of cases is likely ten times higher than the official count, according to CDC director Robert Redfield. As cases have increased, deaths have slightly declined over the past 2 weeks but began rising alongside new cases this week. While increased testing may be catching more mild cases than in April, it will likely take weeks for the death rate to reflect the current surge in new cases. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that overall, the U.S. is not “doing great” in response to the coronavirus, noting the surges around the country were likely due to states reopening too quickly. In a Facebook Live news conference on Tuesday, Fauci admitted that the death rate is lower likely because many of the newer cases are younger people, who are generally healthier. “But that doesn’t mean that you could not get seriously ill,” he added.

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

Time to shut down again? As coronavirus cases surge, a growing chorus makes the case – Washington Post – 7/9/2020
They raced to shut down their economies in March, and many opened them just as quickly in May. Now, governors across the country are facing growing pressure from public health experts and local leaders to reimpose stay-at-home orders as the only way to regain control of coronavirus outbreaks that threaten to overwhelm hospitals and send the death count rocketing.

The US has run out of time and excuses. Now we’ll be forced to watch thousands die of coronavirus. – Business Insider – 7/10/2020
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, what has come 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. 

Fact check: No, more testing isn’t the reason US coronavirus case numbers are getting worse – CNN – 7/9/2020
No matter how high the daily number of new coronavirus cases has gotten, President Donald Trump has responded with the argument he repeated on Thursday: the big number is just more evidence of the country’s success with testing. […] Trump’s own officials and his Republican allies have acknowledged it’s not true that a rising number of tests is the reason the number of cases has skyrocketed over the last month. One telling piece of evidence that the spike is genuine: the percentage of people testing positive, a key measure of the true spread of the virus, has also spiked.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

Marisa Fernandez on Twitter, 7/8/2020: The U.S. tops 3 million COVID-19 cases today, a day after a record 60,000 new infections were reported within 24 hours.

Eric Geller on Twitter, 7/10/2020: The U.S. set *another* new coronavirus case record on Thursday, the *sixth* daily record in 10 days. Alabama, Idaho, Missouri, Montana, Oregon and Texas set records. This is what happens when politicians ignore scientists.

Donald J. Trump on Twitter,  7/9/2020: For the 1/100th time, the reason we show so many Cases, compared to other countries that haven’t done nearly as well as we have, is that our TESTING is much bigger and better. We have tested 40,000,000 people. If we did 20,000,000 instead, Cases would be half, etc. NOT REPORTED!

Joe Biden on Twitter, 7/8/2020: When there were 15 cases, the President said it wouldn’t spread any farther. We just hit our 3 millionth case. We’re paying for his failure.

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