Only two states in the United States, Vermont and Missouri, reported falling in the average number of coronavirus cases reported in the past week. The outbreak is intensifying almost everywhere.
Connecticut and Florida led the country, with an increase of 50% or more. Another 27 states rose between 10% and 50%, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 8.1m cases have been confirmed in the US, killing nearly 220,000 people. On Saturday, the university confirmed another 57,519 cases and 711 deaths.
In the mid-west, states including Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin are seeing steep increases in case numbers, citing public health officials to reopen schools and colleges in major cities.
On Sunday, U.S. health secretary Alex Azar blamed the rise in “stress relief” cases, before recognizing that older people should be wearing masks at a Trump campaign event held in inside Florida on Friday.
“Cases are on the rise,” Azar told NBC’s Meet the Press. “We see this happening because we are getting colder weather and we are losing the natural distance of society that is happening from outside the doors.”
Donald Trump visited two hotspots this weekend, refusing to talk about rolling out rallies in Michigan and Wisconsin. Michigan reached more than 2,000 daily cases on Thursday and Friday and in weekly cases reached the sixth highest number since the pandemic began.
Pressed by a Wisconsin radio station about sending the wrong message, Trump defended holding large rallies.
“I’m not a big believer in the shutdown,” Trump said, citing his campaign primarily holding out rallies outside, with the masses mostly masked. The president told reporters that “he did not see anyone without” masks.
But reporters on the ground painted a different picture, which tomorrow the audience ignored health advice. Thousands of attendees gathered without social distance and wearing no masks.
The campaign gave Trump-branded masks to participants who were chosen to sit behind the president, who announced last month contracting the virus. Doctors have always insisted that the president tested negative and clearly campaigned.
On Sunday, Trump tweeted a rare recognition that cases are rising across the US. But he also expressed a frequently debunked theory that coronavirus attacks could be directly attributed to test increases.
“The United States is showing more cases than other countries,” Trump tweeted. “No country in the world is testing at this level. The more you test, the more cases you report. Very simple!”
The mixed messages came from the campaign administration and staff. Former New Jersey governor and campaign successor Chris Christie, for example, pleaded with Americans to wear masks, after spending eight days in the hospital itself. But on Sunday, Republican national committee chairman Ronna McDaniel appeared to reduce the surge.
“I think it’s contagious,” he told ABC’s This Week. “I think people get sick and they don’t know where. The president who took that quick action early puts our country in a better place to fight the horrible virus. “
Negotiations on economic relief are still stalled. Democrats set a 48-hour deadline for talks to enact legislation, while Republican Senate leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate would vote on a GOP proposal before the election.
Also on ABC, House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi slammed Republicans for removing funds for testing and monitoring their proposed law, and noted that “color communities have more deaths than whites population “.
“A Hispanic child has eight times more chances to go to the hospital with Covid than a white child,” he said. “A Black child, five times more chances to go to the hospital there. That’s because we haven’t focused on the problem yet.”
Asked to confirm reports that he had not spoken directly to Trump for more than a year, Pelosi avoided the question. He also refused to promise to speak directly to the president after any agreement on a bill in Covid.
The leading elected Democrat said he wanted a bill passed before the Nov. 3 election, but said the agreement had to come within 48 hours for that to happen.
“I look forward to it because, again, we go back and forth through it all,” he said.