It has been another disappointing week for coronavirus numbers out of the US. Although hospitalizations and new cases have, encouragingly, moved decidedly lower in some of the worst-hit Sun Belt states – Arizona is perhaps the best example – the region is now struggling with what appears to be the delayed wave of deaths that Dr. Fauci and other health experts had promised, while hospitalizations and new cases remain elevated.
However, if there is a silver lining in all of this, it’s that the outbreaks afflicting the Sun Belt states have so far proved much less deadly than what happened in New York.
The absurdly high level of fatalities in the Greater New York area has been linked to both the large number of unconfirmed cases (antibody surveillance has shown some neighborhoods in the Bronx have as much as 60% penetration) and a staggering failure of leadership from Gov Cuomo.
Cuomo’s office allowed thousands of deaths that could have been avoided by sending COVID-19 positive patients back to their long-term care facilities, leading to a wave of nursing home outbreaks that contributed to more than half of the deaths recorded in the state. For all the criticism the New York Times heaps on Florida Gov Ron DeSantis and Georgia Gov Brian Kemp for their unwillingness to take decisive action, Cuomo’s horrifying policy blunder is arguably the deadliest mistake made by a governor.
But we digress. As we await the latest round of daily tallies, it’s worth noting that the world reported a new record jump in new cases yesterday, as the daily tallies in Brazil, India and the US have climbed at a rapid clip. According to WorldoMeter, 289,028 new cases were reported around the world yesterday (remember, these data are typically reported with a 24-hour delay).
This brought the global case total to 15,931,445.
The world reported 6,199 deaths yesterday. The daily tally was well below the record numbers reported in mid-April, but the increase brought the 7-day average to its highest level since late April.
This brought the global death toll to 641,885.
Keep in mind, Worldometer’s numbers typically vary – sometimes by a modest margin – from the numbers reported by Reuters, the AP and Johns Hopkins. The latter of these has become the international standard, though many other tallies exist and are regularly cited by the English-language press around the world.
But all were pretty much in agreement on this: Yesterday, the US recorded more than 1,000 deaths for the fourth day in a row, pushing the 7-day average to its highest level since late April.
What’s more, the US reported 78,009 cases yesterday – a new single-day record, and the first daily tally north of 78k.
This brought the US tally to 4,248,327.
Death-wise, the US recorded 1,141 new deaths yesterday, to be exact.
Bringing the US death toll to 148,490.
As Trump pushes for children to return to school across the country in the fall, provoking understandable fears that this might spark a surge in deaths, it’s worth remembering that the virus’s propensity to infect and kill the most vulnerable patients has been substantially mitigated as health-care professionals have honed their techniques, and studies have shed more light on the ability of therapeutics like remdesivir to help patients with the most severe symptoms. Dexamethasone also comes to mind, as at least one high-quality study has shown the drug to be surprisingly effective in patients with severe symptoms. Hydroxychloroquine, a common anti-malarial drug that has been commonly used for decades, has been shown in a handful of studies to slow the disease’s advance during the early stages, though some studies examining the drug’s impact on seriously ill patients have shown undesirable side effects in a small number of patients.