Coronavirus Cases Surge to New Record

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

I'll probably have to stop covering the latest record if we keep setting a new record every other day.

Several states reported record numbers of positive tests yesterday and that led to the United States as a whole recording over 47,000 cases and surpassing the previous record of about 45,000.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New U.S. COVID-19 cases rose by more than 47,000 on Tuesday according to a Reuters tally, the biggest one-day spike since the start of the pandemic, as the government’s top infectious disease expert warned that number could soon double.

California, Texas and Arizona have emerged as new U.S. epicenters of the pandemic, reporting record increases in COVID-19 cases. [...]

COVID-19 cases more than doubled in June in at least 10 states, including Texas and Florida, a Reuters tally showed. In parts of Texas and Arizona, hospital intensive care beds for COVID-19 patients are in short supply.

Just a few minutes before I began writing this, Arizona reported that their positive test rate over the past 24 hours was 28.3 percent, meaning almost 1 in 3 people in Arizona are getting infected.

If we were to replicate Arizona's current positive infection rate nationwide, it would lead to about 100 million infections. And I don't think that's going to happen, but I also don't feel especially confident that it won't if about half the country continues to pretend that everything is normal.

Arizona also reported nearly 90 deaths in the past 24 hours and that's the number that won't truly catch up to current infections until later this month. Most people who die from complications of COVID-19 do not drop dead immediately, although that has happened too in rare cases.

And not to continuously pick on Arizona as several other states also set new records yesterday, but the state also just implemented a patient scoring system that will determine who lives and who dies in overwhelmed hospitals that are now rationing treatment and performing triage.

In brief, the rules allow hospitals to deny critical healthcare resources such as ventilators to patients based on medical judgments about their likelihood of living even five more years despite surviving COVID-19.

In practical terms, that means that on average, older adults are more likely to be denied care than younger persons. Those with medical conditions other than COVID-19 would be more vulnerable to denials than those judged to be healthier, whatever their age.

Under the rules, doctors making triage judgments that deprive patients of necessary care will be immune from legal liability.

Trump held a packed rally at a mega-church in Phoenix last week (pictured above) where virtually no one wore a mask.

Because wearing a mask at a Trump rally would be sacrilege, right? You might be mistaken for a liberal infiltrator even if you're also wearing a red hat.

  • muselet

    Meanwhile, Donald Trump continues to bleat that Sars-CoV-2 will simply disappear and that a vaccine will be along shortly, and Kayleigh McEnany seems to have lost her mind:

    When asked whether the President’s coronavirus strategy is to hope that it disappears, McEnany replied “no” because he “is confident that it will disappear.”

    “He is confident that he has put together a revolutionary first class team that is going to break through bureaucracy and get us a vaccine,” McEnany said. “He’s confident that that will lead us to a place where we won’t have COVID on our hands.”

    All righty, then.

    Oh, and she called the surge in cases “embers in the country” which exist only because of increased testing. I’m sure the tens of thousands of people newly infected will be utterly delighted by that characterization.

    Also, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released a guidance sheet on 23 June limiting who insurers are required to cover for Covid-19 testing. Part of this is because Congress was sloppy in writing the legislation, part of it is the Trump administration trying desperately to make testing go away.

    Is there nothing this administration can’t screw up? (Rhetorical question.)

    Stay home as much as you can, wash your hands, avoid crowds, socially distance, wear a damn’ mask and vote in November as if you life depends on it (it does).


  • Wildson

    Now this is actually “Death Panels”…