With almost 1,000 deaths reported on Thursday alone across the nation, state and local leaders issued ominous warnings.
“If you do the math, it is easy to see why the alarm,” Barbara Ferrer, the public health director in Los Angeles County, California, told the New York Times, noting that the more than 4,000 new cases registered in Los Angeles County on Thursday “could lead to over 18,000 infected people in a few weeks.”
The previous single-day record, according to the Times database, was 68,241 cases registered on July 10. Thursday marked the 11th time in the last month that a US record for cases in a single day has been broken.
In addition, the number of new daily cases in the US has more than doubled since June 24. Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Texas all set records for single-day case numbers on Thursday, while Florida, South Carolina and Texas all set single-day death records. Meanwhile, Alabama, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Utah all hit record death numbers this week.
In Kentucky, a record number of children under the age of 5 have tested positive, according to the state’s Governor Andy Beshear.
“We are seeing state after state not just facing escalating cases, but facing devastation. When you put up record numbers of cases, while our hospitals are working really hard, we will see more death,” he said this week, reported the New York Times.
In a livestreamed interview with Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the US needs "to regroup, call a timeout - not necessarily lock down again, but say that we’ve got to do this in a more measured way."
"We've got to get our arms around this, and we’ve got to get this controlled," he added.
Many of the new COVID-19 cases have been among young people, and during the Facebook interview, Fauci urged young Americans not to underestimate the severity of the virus.
“You have to have responsibility for yourself but also a societal responsibility that you’re getting infected is not just you in a vacuum. You’re propagating the pandemic,” he said.
During a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on June 23, Fauci also warned that doctors are seeing more complications from the virus in young people.
“To think young people have no deleterious consequences is not true. We’re seeing more and more complications in young people,” he noted.