Only two U.S. states, Vermont and Missouri, have reported declines in the average number of reported coronavirus cases over the past week. The outbreak is rising almost everywhere.
Connecticut and Florida lead the nation with increases of 50% or more. Another 27 states rose between 10% and 50%, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. More than 8.1 million Cases have been confirmed in the United States, killing nearly 220,000 people. On Saturday, the university confirmed a further 57,51
In the Midwest, states including Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin are experiencing steep increases in the number of cases, picked up by public health officials to reopen schools and colleges in major cities.
On Sunday, U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar blamed the rise in “mitigation fatigue” cases before acknowledging that more seniors should have been wearing masks at a Trump campaign group held indoors in Florida on Friday.
“Cases are rising,” Azar told NBC’s Meet the Press. “We see this happening because we’re getting colder weather and we’re losing the natural social distance that happens from being out the door.”
Donald Trump visited two hotspots over the weekend and declined to talk about the increase in rallies in Michigan and Wisconsin. Michigan reached more than 2,000 daily cases Thursday and Friday and in Wisconsin, weekly cases reached the sixth highest number since the pandemic first began.
Under pressure from a Wisconsin radio station to broadcast the wrong message, Trump defended holding large conventions.
“I’m not a big shutdown believer,” Trump said, noting that his campaign primarily holds gatherings outdoors with crowds that are mostly masked. The president told reporters he “did not see anyone without” a mask.
But journalists on the ground paint a different picture, with participants openly ignoring health advice. Thousands of participants gathered without social distance and without wearing masks.
The campaign has handed out Trump-labeled masks to candidates elected to sit behind the president, who last month was announced to have contracted the virus. Doctors have since insisted that the president has tested negative and is ready to campaign.
On Sunday, Trump tweeted a rare acknowledgment that cases are on the rise across the United States. But he also expressed an often debunked theory that coronavirus surges can be directly attributed to increases in testing.
“The United States is showing more cases than other countries,” Trump tweeted. “No country in the world is testing at this level. The more you test, the more cases you report. Very simple! “
Mixed messages have come from administration and campaign staff. Former New Jersey Gov. and campaign surrogate Chris Christie, for example, has asked Americans to wear masks after spending eight days in the hospital themselves. But on Sunday, Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel seemed to downplay the increase.
“I think it’s incredibly contagious,” she told ABC’s This Week. “I think people get sick and they do not know where. The president, who is taking the swift action early, puts our country in a better place to fight this terrible virus. ”
Negotiations on financial relief are still stalled. Democrats have set a 48-hour deadline for negotiations to produce legislation, while Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said the Senate will vote on a GOP bill before the election.
Also on ABC, House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi criticized Republicans for clearing funding for testing and tracking in their proposed legislation, noting that “color communities have more deaths than the white population.”
“A Hispanic child is eight times more likely to go to the hospital with Covid than a white child,” she said. “A black child, five times more likely to go to the hospital on it. That’s because we have not addressed the problem. ”
Asked to confirm reports that she had not spoken directly to Trump for more than a year, Pelosi avoided the question. She also refused to commit to having a conversation with the president directly following an agreement on a law on Covid relief.
The top-elected Democrat said she wanted a bill passed before the Nov. 3 election, but said the agreement should come within 48 hours before it could happen.
“I am optimistic because we have been back and forth with all this again,” she said.