The U.S. is “entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic… leading to increasing mortality,” warned Dr. Deborah Birx earlier this week.
Political uncertainty remains as vote-counting continues after an Election Day which saw millions of voters head to the polls across the U.S., but one thing that’s for sure is that “coronavirus is spreading like wildfire” throughout the country.
According to Johns Hopkins data, the U.S. recorded 91,350 new Covid-19 infections on Tuesday. This marked the second-highest single-day figure to date, CNBC reported, while CNN noted that the five days with the highest number of coronavirus cases have all occurred since October 29.
As the national caseload has ballooned in the past week, the seven-day average of daily new cases surpassed 86,000, CNN reported:
Meanwhile, Forbes reported that Harvard and Brown’s Covid-19 risk assessment map—which assigns a rating to each county based on its weekly average of cases per 100,000 people—puts over half the U.S. “at a tipping point,” meaning that the risk of transmission is high and the “level of spread is difficult to control without a circuit-breaking intervention such as a stay-at-home order.”
Furthermore, 1,130 Americans died from Covid-19 on November 3, and according to reporting from the Star Tribune in Minnesota, only nine intensive care beds were available in the Twin Cities on Wednesday morning as the pandemic sends a growing number of people to area hospitals.
All of these data points confirm what epidemiologists have been sounding the alarm about for more than a week: Covid-19 is spreading rapidly nationwide. The U.S. finds itself in the midst of a third surge that is, as CNN put it, “well underway and will only get worse.”
— Philip N Cohen (@familyunequal) November 4, 2020
While evidence indicates that the public health catastrophe is worsening, Tuesday night exit polls found that nearly half of the country thinks that “U.S. efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic are going… very well or somewhat well.”
Support broke down along partisan lines, with Democrats holding a more negative view of the nation’s pandemic response and Republicans rating the government’s actions more favorably.
HuffPost reported Wednesday that President Donald Trump “actually performed better this year than he did in 2016 in counties with high Covid-19 death rates… despite [his] brazen negligence in handling the coronavirus.”
While the president was able to maintain support among a large share of the electorate, a November 2 internal report from Dr. Deborah Birx obtained by the Washington Post revealed a top White House coronavirus adviser contradicting Trump’s false claims that the U.S. is “rounding the turn” on the pandemic.
Birx warned that the country is “entering the most concerning and most deadly phase of this pandemic… leading to increasing mortality,” and pleaded for a more aggressive approach to containment.
According to information obtained by Politico, “Joe Biden is planning to create his own task force to help grapple with the country’s surge in cases should he win [the] election.”
Editors’ note: Wednesday brought about a new single day record of 103,087 new cases – the first time that new cases in the US have gone over 100,000 in one day. There were 1,116 deaths.