Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

​U.S. Coronavirus Cases Top 2 Million as All 50 States Start Reopening

Health + Wellness
Texas Army National Guard Soldiers prepare to receive patients for COVID-19 tests at a mobile testing team facility at Hilliard Elementary School in Houston, Texas on May 21, 2020. U.S. Army National Guard photo by Sgt. Erin Castle

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases rose past two million Wednesday night, according to Johns Hopkins University data reported by CBS News.


As of early Thursday morning Eastern Time, there were a confirmed total of 2,000,464 cases and 112, 924 deaths in the country that remains the world leader for both metrics. The news comes as all 50 states are reopening to some degree and 17 states report an uptick in the daily average of new cases compared with two weeks ago.

President Donald Trump has been criticized for his handling of the pandemic, as he both downplayed the initial risk and suggested ingesting bleach as a potential cure during a live briefing.

"From the beginning there has been misrepresentations and fabrications from the White House," director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University Irwin Redlener told The Guardian. "Whatever the opposite of 'mission accomplished' is, that's what this is. It's essentially been an American fiasco."

The disease claimed its first known U.S. life in California just five months ago and quickly spread across the country following an initial outbreak in Washington state, CBS News reported.

The U.S. recorded one million cases 14 weeks into the outbreak, and now two million six weeks after that, according to The Guardian. But public health experts warned that the country was still in the early stages of the outbreak. The disease will not be controlled until at least 60 percent of the population has antibodies, either from being vaccinated or from falling ill and recovering, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota Michael Osterholm told The Guardian. And he said that milestone was a long way off.

"At most, perhaps 5% of people have been infected," he said. "If all that pain, suffering and economic destruction got us to 5%, what will it take to get us to 60%? That's a sobering thought. All of that suffering and death is just getting started. People haven't quite got that yet."

Harvard Global Health Institute leader Ashish Jha told CNN that the U.S. could see 200,000 deaths by September even if the number of new cases just holds steady, Reuters reported.

"And that's just through September," Jha said. "The pandemic won't be over in September."

Jha attributed the high U.S. numbers to the fact that it was the only major country to reopen without waiting for the rate of people testing positive for the virus to fall to five percent or lower for 14 days.

While initially hard hit states like New York and New Jersey are getting the virus under control, others are seeing their caseload rise. Since June began, 14 states and Puerto Rico have reported their highest weekly average yet for new cases, The Guardian reported Tuesday. Those states are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, Mississippi, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

Texas broke its record for coronavirus hospitalizations and Arizona reported one of the steepest upticks in the country.

The timing of the multi-state surge comes after states began to reopen and people gathered outdoors Memorial Day Weekend. Nationwide, cases have begun to increase after declining for weeks, according to Reuters. While some of the newly reported cases could be the result of improved testing, that doesn't explain all of them.

"It's very clear that it's a real increase in community spread," said Will Humble, executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association, according to NPR. "It's not some artifact of additional testing."

Cellphone data suggests that Americans are now moving around at two-thirds of the amount they did before lockdown orders began.

"It seems that we, the U.S., has given up and accepted this disease as a facet of life," Jeffrey Shaman of the Columbia University School of Public Health told NPR. "It didn't have to be this way, and it still doesn't going forward."

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Activists of Greenpeace and Fridays For Future demonstrate on a canal in front of the cooling tower of the coal-fired power plant Datteln 4 of power supplier Uniper in Datteln, western Germany, on May 20. INA FASSBENDER / AFP / Getty Images

The Bundestag and Bundesrat — Germany's lower and upper houses of parliament — passed legislation on Friday that would phase out coal use in the country in less than two decades as part of a road map to reduce carbon emissions.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Tara Lohan

Would you like to take a crack at solving climate change? Or at least creating a road map of how we could do it?

Read More Show Less
Climate campaigners and Indigenous peoples across Canada have spent the past several years protesting the Trans Mountain pipeline. Mark Klotz / Flickr / cc

By Elana Sulakshana

Rainforest Action Network recently uncovered a document that lists the 11 companies that are currently insuring the controversial Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline in Canada. These global insurance giants are providing more than USD$500 million in coverage for the massive risks of the existing Trans Mountain pipeline, and they're also lined up to cover the expansion project.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Leah Campbell

After several months of stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many households are beginning to experience family burnout from spending so much time together.

Read More Show Less
Food Tank

By Danielle Nierenberg and Alonso Diaz

With record high unemployment, a reeling global economy, and concerns of food shortages, the world as we know it is changing. But even as these shifts expose inequities in the health and food systems, many experts hope that the current moment offers an opportunity to build a new and more sustainable food system.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Brian J. Love and Julie Rieland

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the U.S. recycling industry. Waste sources, quantities and destinations are all in flux, and shutdowns have devastated an industry that was already struggling.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Pixabay

By Kris Gunnars, BSc

Unhealthy foods play a primary role in many people gaining weight and developing chronic health conditions, more now than ever before.

Read More Show Less