U.S. death toll edges above 117,000; Oklahoma is one of 9 states that are still setting case records* Coronavirus update


The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus illness COVID-19 climbed above 117,000 on Wednesday, amid reports that nine states are recording either single day record numbers of cases or their highest seven-day new case averages, indicating they are not managing to contain the spread.

Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas are seeing infections climb, according to a Washington Post analysis. The news comes a day after Vice President Mike Pence said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that worries about a second wave of cases later in the year were “overblown” and due to the media trying to scare Americans.

His comments were dismissed by health care experts, who continue to urge people to wear face masks, wash their hands frequently and socially distance to avoid further economic hardship and unnecessary deaths.

“Dr. Pence would not be someone I’d go to for a medical checkup, or for medical advice,” said Chuck Schumer, the Senate Democratic minority leader

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases, said he would not be attending the rally in Tusla, Oklahoma planned for Saturday by President Donald Trump, telling the Daily Beast that he is in the high-risk category given he is 79 years old.

Fauci also said the current talk of a second wave of infections is redundant as the U.S. is still dealing with the first wave. “We are seeing infections to a greater degree than they had previously seen in certain states, including states in the southwest and in the south,” Fauci said. “I don’t like to talk about a second wave right now, because we haven’t gotten out of our first wave.”

Fauci said he is nervous about states that are reopening aggressively, especially when he sees images on TV of people gathering closely in bars with no masks. Regarding the Tulsa rally, he said outside is better than inside, no crowd is better than a crowd, and a crowd is “better than big crowd.”

The Trump campaign is planning to hold the rally indoors in a 19,000-seat arena, that has canceled all other events through the end of July. The campaign has acknowledged the risk of infection by insisting that those who attend sign legal waivers absolving Trump and his staff of any blame, if people get sick or are injured.

The virus is spread by droplets of moisture that are released when people cough, sing or shout and it moves rapidly in indoor spaces. Trump rallies tend to include a lot of cheering, shouting and chanting. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its guidelines for reopening safely on Friday, and identified the highest risk of spreading the virus as stemming from, “large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.”

More information to come out soon.

U.S. death toll edges above 117,000; Oklahoma is one of 9 states that are still setting case records* Coronavirus update U.S. death toll edges above 117,000; Oklahoma is one of 9 states that are still setting case records* Coronavirus update Reviewed by Anson Moore on June 17, 2020 Rating: 5

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