A dramatic surge in the number of COVID-19 cases has inundated the majority of states across the U.S., with Arizona, Florida and Texas poised to become the new epicenters of the pandemic. Over the past few weeks numerous other states have reported overwhelming numbers of new cases and record numbers of hospitalizations due to the highly infectious and deadly disease. In response, many states are walking back their previously-aggressive reopening programs that appears to have accelerated the spread of the virus. And according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, we’re still in the first wave of the disease.

To date, 2.6 million Americans have tested positive for the coronavirus that is the cause of COVID-19, a disease that had killed more than 126,000—one quarter of both the global case count of 10.2 million and the worldwide death toll of 502,600. As of Sunday, single-day records for the U.S. had been set for new cases for five consecutive days, with 36 states seeing rises in infections, with only two states—Connecticut and Rhode Island—reporting declines in numbers.

These new cases appear to stem directly from the reopening programs implemented by many states around the Memorial Day weekend, with many people taking advantage of the relaxed restrictions to gather in large groups, a situation that allowed the highly infectious virus to spread through the population.

“It’s basically the same reason for all these states: It was Memorial Day,” according to Dr. Eric Toner, with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “And in the last week of May, most states began to seriously relax community mitigation efforts.”

Health officials estimate that the actual number of coronavirus cases may be 10 times higher than the official count, with as many as 20 million Americans being infected, yet not showing any symptoms. The virus is highly infectious, and asymptomatic individuals can unknowingly spread the virus to those that are at risk of complications from the disease.

Florida has seen a fivefold increase in the number of infections in only two weeks, now standing at 141,000 confirmed cases; Sunday’s total of 8,530 new cases was actually a decrease from the 9,000-plus cases seen over the preceding days. Governor Ron DeSantis is downplaying the numbers, saying that the new cases are mostly comprised of 18 to 44-year-old patients, despite the risk of that age group still being vulnerable to developing serious complications from the disease.

California’s case total is just under 216,000, having seen single-day surges of over 5,000 cases, with Sunday’s total revealing 4,744 new infections. SoCal remains the hotspot for the Sunshine State, with 38 percent of the cases located in Los Angeles County.

The coronavirus has taken a very “swift and very dangerous turn,” according to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, adding that “over just the past few weeks, the daily number of cases have gone from an average of about 2,000, to more than 5,000,” with the Lone Star State’s total now clocking in at 150,000 cases. Arizona, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee have also reported sharp increases in cases, along with record high numbers of coronavirus-related hospitalizations.

Despite how this recent surge in cases may appear, this new spike in cases isn’t a resurgence of the disease, according to Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In a June 18 Washington Post interview, Dr. Fauci says the U.S. hasn’t seen enough of a lull in cases for a second wave to have occurred.

“You don’t necessarily have to have a resurgence in a wave that has not even gone down,” Dr. Fauci explains. “So that’s the reason why I say when people talk about a second wave in the summer, you can’t talk about a second wave in the summer because we’re still in the first wave. We want to get that first wave down. Then we’ll see if we can keep it there.”

In an interview with the Washington Post, Dr. Fauci also stressed the importance of mitigation measures for those in regions with active COVID-19 cases:

“The best way to avoid infection when you are in a location where the dynamics of the virus are clearly active [is] avoid congregation and crowds; wear a mask at all times when you have the likelihood that you’re going to be running into somebody.”

“I think that wherever there’s wood to burn, this fire’s going to burn – and right now we have a lot of susceptible people,” according to Michael Osterholm, head of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.

“I don’t think we’re going to see one, two and three waves. I think we’re going to just see one very, very difficult forest fire of cases.”

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11 Comments

  1. Take your time. Only a few estimates have been made of the total duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those estimates are not good news, thus many people don’t want to hear them. Estimates of this pandemic duration range from one to ten years. This morning on CNN, Anthony Fauci, MD, head of the Allergy and Infectious Disease branch of NIH, said that a common level of immunity from an infectious disease vaccine against a virus is 75-78%, while the best-ever level of vaccine immunity against any virus is 97-98%, in the example of the measles virus. Thus, most likely even after a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine becomes widely available, there may still be some level of transmission (of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the cause of COVID-19) across human communities for some years.

  2. OK, I now see your COVID-19 report for today. Thank you. Today’s news conference from WHO in Geneva, Switzerland, is just now winding down; they are expected to announce new guidelines on the wearing of masks and other pandemic control measures. StatNews also has very rapid reporting across a huge range of pandemic issues. Here is their website:
    https://www.statnews.com/tag/coronavirus/

    1. No problem Indy, and thanks for the link to Statnews, that should be helpful in the future.

      And as per your previous post, yes, even if we get a handle on things with a broad vaccine program, there’s no guarantee that we can fully eradicate every trace of it, and humanity might very well collectively have to make taking measures against it a part of everyday life.

      Here’s hoping…

  3. There appears to be so much hype about the increase in COVID-19 infections within America. One of the remarkable characteristics of this virus is its contagion factor. But infections don’t equal death any more than someone catching the common cold or even the seasonal flu…….and both of those are viruses. A vast number recover without the need for hospitalization. Those who do die from it are those of the aged and frail whose immune systems have already been compromised. Of course, there will be exceptions within other age groups. I’ve yet to see statistics where many children are hospitalized or even die from this virus. And I wouldn’t trust any government-sponsored vaccine agenda. Does anyone remember the Gulf War Syndrome, where many American service personnel were sickened after being inoculated before going to Iraq? We shouldn’t trust Big Pharma, the CDC or even the FDA. Further, why should we trust Dr. Fauci? He was instrumental in removing Dr. Judy Mikovitz, when as a lab scientist, she discovered deliberate cover-ups of damaging evidence related to vaccines. RM

    1. This situation is not being hyped. If anything, it appears that it is being downplayed by key authorities, unless you have some evidence that the numbers are actually being exaggerated in some fashion. If such a conspiracy were being executed, I’d like to put together an article on it.

      So far, even by the CDC’s somewhat inflated fatality numbers for the seasonal flu, COVID-19 is, at a minimum, demonstrably 10 times more deadly than it’s less virulent cousin–and that’s with (admittedly half-arsed) containment measures in place (126k dead over 4 months vs 36.5k (avg.) over 12 months). Unchecked, it’s estimated to be 20 to 30 times more deadly. Once again, if you have any evidence to the contrary, I’d like to hear it.

      It is true that the majority that contract the disease don’t require hospitalization, but as we’ve seen in NYC, the minority that do are still legion, and can easily overwhelm a given region’s health care facilities. We will also see more overwhelmed hospitals in the months to come.

      6.6% of reported hospitalizations in the U.S. up to the end of May have been patients under 20 years of age, but now that the infection balance has skewed sharply toward Millennials expect that percentage to climb. While it is true that the risk of hospitalization and death currently increases with age, I’m not sure what your point about bringing up children is: it’s still a lethal disease that scars survivors with long-term effects, even post-recovery. Just because it kills the elderly more readily doesn’t mean we should take it less seriously.

      We can trust “Big Pharma” to want to make money, but at the same time it will be impossible for “them” to roll out a faulty vaccine in any meaningful fashion, since when it comes to the competition involved in getting a useful/safe vaccine out the door there are literally hundreds of candidates, at which point there is no “them”: if one candidate doesn’t work, it won’t be bought by health authorities, and that individual pharmaceutical company won’t make the money it’s looking for.

      Judy Mikovits’s claim against Dr. Fauci has yet to be substantiated. While her self-portrayal as a rebel scientist fighting against a corrupt medical research establishment might be attractive to the conspiracy theorist community, there’s no actual evidence that she’s anything more than a grifter preying on the fears of her audience. I also haven’t seen any reason to distrust Dr. Fauci’s input, aside from his association with the White House.

      1. I appreciate your response. It’s quite apparent that we have opposite opinions. An informational war is going on and I believe, from the many sources I have access to, that there are subversive elements at work to win the hearts and minds of the populace. Also, it would appear, that we have different ideologies. The very basis behind what I believe is that I don’t trust governmental agencies that are in league with their corporate masters. The only motivation for any supposedly altruistic endeavours are profit and control. A corporate entity has no allegiance to anything or anyone except to itself. One only has to follow the money and the corruption that is evident. What appears to be an effort to “save” us (humanity) from this pandemic is just a thin veneer on top of an entirely different agenda. RM

        1. Could you reveal some of these sources? As Matt says, this sounds like something we’d like to run with on the site if there is solid evidence.

        2. I’m not stating my opinion, but rather verifiable, objective facts. Once again, if anything I’ve posted here is incorrect, I’d like to see some evidence showing that. Everyone is, of course, entitled to their own opinion, but they are certainly not entitled to their own facts. When misinformation is posted here–especially regarding something as potentially dangerous as COVID-19–I will call it out.

          I cite my sources in every story we post–there are nine attached to this article alone, 12 if one were to add the links from my previous response. So far, I haven’t found anything backing the claims that run contrary to the consensus that this is a major health crisis, as reported by virtually every government, scientist, economist, journalist and health organization around the world.

          And if someone has actually gone to the massive effort and billions of dollars in expense to coordinate a fabrication of this magnitude, then we’d like to see some evidence. It’d be the story of the millennium.

          I definitely agree that there’s an information war going on: judging from the many sources I have access to, I can guarantee that there are subversive elements working to win the hearts and minds of the populace; these elements are trying to convince people that the pandemic response is overblown, if not an outright hoax. They do so for personal and financial gain, and yet offer zero evidence to back their fictional claims.

          I understand the allure of these conspiracy theories: it’s far more comforting to think that this pandemic is simply smoke and mirrors, that the unfolding human and economic ruin can be avoided if we just go about business as usual, that things aren’t nearly as bad as they’re made out to be.

          But in my five months of coverage of the pandemic, I have as of yet to see any evidence whatsoever that this is a hoax, or even vaguely overblown for that matter. The sheer mountain of information–reports, studies, legislation, professional-level anecdotes, etc., from a wide variety of countries and organizations–do not paint a picture of an over-hyped facade.

    1. Thanks Indy, that’s a great visual guide as to how it all works.

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