What epidemiologists are calling the “third wave” of coronavirus infections is hitting the United States. How is each state reacting and how is affecting the presidential election?
The United States just hit its two highest daily new cases of coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic, with at least 83,000 new cases two days in a row. Thirteen states reported record numbers of hospitalizations on Friday according to CNBC.
- Earlier this week, former Food and Drug Administration head Dr. Scott Gottlieb said the United States and Europe should prepare for a “difficult fall and winter.”
- In the wake of record case numbers, federal health officials poured cold water on the notion a coronavirus vaccine will be approved and gain widespread distribution by the end of the year. Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday a vaccine’s safety and effectiveness will not be confirmed until “the end of November, the beginning of December.”
- A COVID-19 outbreak has affected the White House again, as several of Vice President Mike Pence’s aides tested positive. The Vice President tested negative on Saturday and will not alter his schedule.
- The New York Times detailed the recent surge’s impact on the election and both candidates’ remarks at campaign stops Saturday, while the Associated Press noted Pence “has generally been more measured” than the President in his public remarks about coronavirus.
- Likely causes of the increase in cases are varying from state to state: Ohio blames private gatherings rather than public spaces. Western New York has seen hot spots in nursing homes and a particular church gathering, causing a spike in rural Allegany County. Michigan cites a variety of factors while Texas has seen college campuses become ground zero for new infections. State officials in Mississippi say mitigation efforts like wearing a mask have been received well in the African American community as opposed to white Mississippians.
- Vox wrote health experts have been predicting the “third wave” for several weeks, and say President Trump’s efforts to “downplay the dangers” of COVID-19 could “intensify the problem.”
- Contrary to President Trump’s assertion that the pandemic is only affecting “blue states”, The Atlantic detailed the spike in cases across the Mountain West and Upper Midwest.
- The New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof compared the current pandemic to South Africa’s AIDS crisis of the 2000s.
- The Wall Street Journal criticized efforts to paint China’s recovery, as well as the methods and metrics used to determine said recovery, as positive or worthy of envy.
- At his rally in Waukesha, Wisconsin, President Trump said infection rates were “overblown”, and referenced declining death rates, saying “I had it, here I am.”
- The New York Post called out CNN host and frequent critic of President Trump Chris Cuomo for neglecting New York’s own public health regulations.
© Dallas Gerber, 2020