COVID-19 Infection Rates Surge While Millions Are Forced Back to Work

By Abayomi Azikiwe

There were more than 55,000 new COVID-19 cases reported in the United States on July 2.

These figures represent a pattern of a rapid escalation of people being sickened by the potentially deadly disease which has killed nearly 130,000 individuals since March.

Overall in the U.S., there have been approximately 2.8 million confirmed cases, far outstripping the total number in any other country. During the first week of July, the number of COVID-19 cases surpassed the record for infections in one day previously set by the South American state of Brazil. Despite this perilous situation involving public health which has economic and social implications, the administration of President Donald Trump at present largely ignores the plight of those impacted by the pandemic.

Trump stated during recent campaign speeches in Oklahoma and Arizona, two states with escalating cases, that he is encouraging his appointees to limit the number of tests being given aimed at identifying those with the disease. The president has refused to wear a mask in public even though members of his own White House Task Force on COVID-19 repeatedly advised that this is an effective means to slow the spread of the pandemic.

Researchers at John Hopkins University in Baltimore indicated that generally cases are growing in 40 states. However, the largest concentration of illnesses is centered in the South, southwest and west coast regions of the country.

States such as Arizona, Texas, Nevada, California and Florida are breaking records formerly established in previous months such as March, April and May. The escalations in COVID-19 cases are taking place amid a major effort to “reopen” the U.S. economy.

This reopening has been encouraged by the White House and its political supporters who have never accepted the recommendations of healthcare professionals and scientists. Trump initially described the pandemic as a hoax and later sought to attribute the spread of the virus to the People’s Republic of China and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The White House accused Beijing of not reporting the extent of the spread of COVID-19 in its early phase. This allegation has been refuted by the Chinese government as well as the WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. In addition, to these false charges, Trump has also said that the WHO favors China in any dispute with Washington.

Nonetheless, these boisterous and unfounded claims by the Trump administration cannot conceal the deteriorating situation in the U.S. Hospital staffs are stretched to the limit with rapidly increasing numbers of patients being admitted to Intensive Care Units (ICU).

An article published by CNBC on July 2 says of the present situation that:

“Arizona reported a record spike in new cases and deaths on Wednesday (July 1), recording nearly 4,900 new coronavirus cases and at least 80 new deaths, according to the Hopkins data. Arizona’s intensive care units were at 89% capacity as of Tuesday, according to the state’s health department.  Gov. Doug Ducey rolled back the state’s reopening plan Monday, closing bars, gyms, movie theaters and water parks. The state has since reported a surge in its positivity rate, or the percentage of total tests that are positive, from a low of 4.9% in May to 20.1% in June, he said when announcing the rollback.”

To further ignore the reality of a continuing public health emergency, Trump praised the government statistics which reported that 4.8 million jobs had been created during the month of June. No mention was made of the fact that many people are being forced back to their jobs under extremely unsafe working conditions….

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