The United States saw over 60,000 new coronavirus cases Tuesday, according to Johns Hopkins University, making it another record-breaking day.
“There’s nothing to stop this train, there’s nothing to stop this steep acceleration in the number of cases,” said Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine. “This is a public health crisis, this is a public health disaster.”
Florida was among the top five states reporting the most new infections Tuesday.
“We have no doubt seen a major increase in cases,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told Fox News. “The median age of our new cases was in the 50s about a month and a half ago. Now that’s dropped into the 30s. People who are healthy and under 40, the death rate of this thing is very close to zero.”
President Donald Trump on Tuesday touted the COVID-19 death rate is dropping, while Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, warned that the U.S. still needs to be cautious.
“It’s a false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death,” said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. “There’s so many other things that are very dangerous and bad about this virus. Don’t get yourself into false complacency.”
At Florida hospitals, 56 intensive care units have already hit capacity, and 35 more show a bed availability of 10% or less.
However, DeSantis would not reveal official state numbers on how many COVID-19 patients are in Florida hospitals.
“So all the data that goes into this is all available,” he said.
In Arizona, another hotspot, hospitals are becoming increasingly overwhelmed, with long lines for testing and delays in getting test results.
“We need medical professionals, we need testing kits, we need supplies immediately,” said Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego. “Our hospitals are already in dire straits and they tell us in the next two weeks it is going to get to an unbearable level of crisis.”
In California, coronavirus hospitalizations are at an all-time high, with a slow turnaround time from diagnostic labs.
Hospitals in Houston could also soon reach their limits.
“The next two weeks will be important, critical,” Houston Sylvester Turner. “So, it’s not just about providing beds, but the staffing that goes right along with it.”
On Tuesday, Texas reported more than 10,000 new cases, its highest single-day count so far.
Gov. Greg Abbott is asking residents to follow the statewide mandatory mask requirement.
“The last thing we want to do is to shut Texas back down,” he said. “We will not have to shut it down if everyone will follow this very simple rule and that is, just get a mask like this, wear it.”
According to Johns Hopkins University, there are currently over 2.9 million confirmed cases in the U.S. More than 131,000 people have died, and over 936,000 have recovered.
An updated model from the University of Washington predicts more than 208,000 Americans will die from the virus by Nov. 1, partly because of the surge of cases in California, Florida, Texas and Arizona.
Although the Trump administration is calling on schools to reopen this fall, at least 24 states are adjusting their overall reopening plans due to the pandemic.