Doctors bring a patient on a stretcher from an ambulance outside the emergency at Coral Gables Hospital, where coronavirus patients are treated on July 30, 2020 in Coral Gables, near Miami.
Chandan Khanna | AFP | Getty Images
The United States has passed 5 million Covid-19 cases, a grisly milestone representing roughly a quarter of all confirmed infections worldwide since the coronavirus first emerged in Wuhan, China, a little over seven months ago.
According to the Johns Hopkins University, it took only six weeks for the number of Covid-19 infections in the United States to double. In the last two weeks, the last 1 million infections were registered.
According to a CNBC analysis of the Hopkins data, the growth in new cases in the US appears to have slowed to an average of 54,235 new infections per day over the past week. The number of new cases peaked on July 19 at 67,902 new cases, based on an average of seven days after coronavirus cases re-emerged in the Sun Belt states in June and July.
California and Florida have both reported more than 500,000 cases since the outbreak hit the US in late January, and Texas is getting very close to that number. The total number of cases for each state now exceeds New York, which was believed to be the epicenter of the nation's outbreak earlier this year. However, these states have reported far fewer deaths than the Empire State, which has so far lost more than 32,000 people to the coronavirus, according to Hopkins.
Doctors say they were able to save more lives compared to the New York peak in March and April because they know more about the virus and discover better treatments like remdesivir. The recent surge in cases has also affected far more younger people who also have higher survival rates.
US health officials fear the virus is currently widespread in parts of the Midwest. White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, and the Coronavirus Task Force coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, expressed concern that states like Ohio, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana are gradually seeing increases in their so-called positivity rates, or the percentage of tests that are positive.
"Every country has suffered. We, the United States, have suffered … as much or worse than anyone," Fauci said during an interview with CNN and the Harvard School of Public Health on Wednesday.
"I mean, if you look at the number of infections and the number of deaths, it's really very worrying," he said.
Criticizing the divide between public health measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and reopen the economy, Fauci said it had become a debate between choosing one or the other.
He has suggested that some states do a "serious" check on where they are reopening and see if they need to pause or undo some reopenings.
"I don't think we have to go into fall and winter because we think we're going to have a disaster," Fauci said during a Q&A with Brown University School of Public Health on Friday. "We could go into fall and winter and look good doing certain things."
Meanwhile, President Donald Trump has continued to urge states to reopen, reiterating his belief that lockdowns would do more harm than good. He said the nation should now focus on protecting older Americans and getting people back to work and school.
"Lockdowns don't prevent infection in the future. They just don't. It often comes back, it comes back," Trump said at a press conference on Monday.
However, Trump said Wednesday that there is "no question" that the virus will eventually "go away like things go". The president's comments contradict his medical advisors and the World Health Organization, all of whom have warned that the virus can never be completely eradicated from the planet. The president continued to press for schools to reopen in the fall, saying he believed most of them will. When it comes to the coronavirus, he said children "can shed it very easily".