Most US states began to relax anti-corona restrictions early on. Now the number of cases is increasing rapidly.
The number of new coronavirus infections in the United States is skyrocketing again. With around 37,000 reported cases within 24 hours, the US surpassed its previous daily record of April 24 on Wednesday. Around half of the 50 U.S. states report rapidly increasing numbers. The pandemic hotspots have shifted south and west. Initially, the state and the city of New York were particularly hard hit, but now Florida, Texas, Oklahoma and South Carolina, but also Arizona, are more in the spotlight. The governor of New York, the Democrat Andrew Cuomo, has already announced that travelers from the most affected countries will have to go into a two-week quarantine after arriving in New York.
US President Donald Trump said last Saturday at his major campaign event in Oklahoma that the numbers were so high because too much testing was being done. He instructed “his people” to test less. He later wanted to interpret this as a joke but reports of actually announced cuts in federal funding for test programs no longer sounded funny.
In addition, Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence now came into the same horn. He said that because of the high number of tests, a lot more infected young people are now being recorded. This can also be seen from the fact that the death toll did not skyrocket as much as that of the newly infected. However, the scientists involved in the matter contradict this: “Deaths always come clearly after the case reports,” said the chief epidemiologist of the US President, Anthony S. Fauci.
Despite the renewed increase, the affected states are hesitating with further restrictions. Republican governors in particular are struggling. While North Carolina’s Democratic governor Ray Cooper announced a three-week suspension of easing, Florida Republican governor Ron DeSantis only appealed to young people not to gather in large groups in rooms with little air exchange. Florida was ranked second behind Texas on Wednesday after Texas with the most reported new infections.
Texas was one of the first states to start easing – now the numbers are increasing rapidly. In Houston, for example, hospitals are already reporting that they will soon reach the critical limit for intensive care patients.
In addition to the economic impact of the new numbers – the Dow Jones index fell on Wednesday, and 1.5 million Americans were registered as unemployed last week – Republicans also fear consequences for the November election: Florida is about one of those swing states without which a presidential election can hardly be won.