Over the past few weeks, protests against racism have prevailed in the United States, but now the coronavirus has returned to headlines.
In several states, a record number of cases have been reported in recent days, raising concerns that a second wave of infections is occurring in the country.
But vice president Mike Pence said these concerns were “bloated” and blamed the media the use of “gloomy predictions” to scare the American people.
So what is happening in the USA?
The number of infections is growing
In the United States, more than two million cases of coronavirus have been reported, and the largest number of confirmed cases of infection has been recorded in the world – about a quarter of the total number of cases in the world.
The situation really worsened at the end of March, but by May the number of cases was decreasing, and most states began to relax restrictions to stop the spread of the virus.
The number of new cases rarely sank below 20,000, although as some states took control of their outbreaks, others were just starting to see outbreaks.
For this reason, Anthony Fauci, a senior US public health official on infectious diseases, views the current situation as a continuation of the initial outbreaks.
“People keep talking about the second wave,” he says. told the journalist last week. “We are still on the first wave.”
Spikes in cases in these new hot spots mean that the overall seven-day average for the country is now rising for several consecutive days for the first time from a maximum of cases in early April.
There are big regional differences
The northeast was the most affected region: about a quarter of all cases in the United States and more than a third of all deaths in the United States are in the states of New York and New Jersey. But in recent weeks, the region has taken control of its outbreaks.
On the other hand, a significant increase in the number of infections was observed in the south and west of the country, according to data collected COVID Tracking Project,
There is no debate about whether cases will grow again, but there is something.
President Donald Trump accuses this of increasing the number of trials, telling the wall street journal he thinks that “testing is overrated” because “in many ways it makes us look bad.”
The US has conducted more tests than any other country – currently about 25 million – so this explains why the world has the highest number of cases, although international comparisons are difficult to do for a number of reasons.
But there is much evidence that the recent rise in infections is not only due to an increase in the number of people being tested.
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The growth in the number of cases is not only testing
Twice last week, more new cases were recorded in Arizona than in the entire nine-state region of the nine states, and this is not only due to increased testing.
This is clear when you look at the level of tests for coronavirus that returns positive.
If many tests are carried out and the spread of the virus decreases, then the number of positive cases will also decrease. If the virus is still widespread, it goes up.
Currently, a positive incidence rate just below 5% nationwideAt this level, the World Health Organization recommends that countries stay at or below level for 14 days before they ease travel restrictions.
But about a third of the states are above this level, as shown in the diagram below, and they all have open to some extent in the last month
The number of people hospitalized has also increased in a number of these states, including Texas, where some of the newly opened bars and restaurants are closing their doors again. reports the Texas Tribune, because of concerns about a new surge in cases.
Faced with an increasing number of cases and an economy that is in urgent need of resuming work, many government officials are looking for face masks to help slow the spread of the virus. California, North Carolina, and several US cities last week required or required their use.
But masks are becoming more politicized in recent weeks, with President Trump proverb some people wear them primarily to withstand it.
Deaths tend to decline – for now
Amid all the fears about the new hot spots, the most positive news in the US at the moment is that daily mortality continues to fall.
They reached their peak in May, when outbreaks in the northeast were most intense, and only New York State recorded about 1000 per day. This week, this figure is about 40 per day.
However, mortality is an indicator that lags behind cases and hospitalizations, because it may take several weeks for those who have suffered the most from this disease. This means that the consequences of current surges in cases will not be visible, at least for a couple of weeks.
If we see how the number of deaths increases, the governors are likely to be pressured to reintroduce restrictions, but Dr. Fauci does not think this will happen.
“I don’t think we will talk about returning to the lockout,” he said last week. “I think we will talk about trying to better control those areas of the country that seem to have a surge in cases.”
Researchers are keen to create a vaccine, but it is clear that Americans and the rest of the world will not be living with the virus until next year.
One forecasting model Experts from the University of Washington, referred to in the past by the White House, predict that the death toll in the United States will exceed 200,000 by October – a month before the election.