A leaked memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency revealed there has been a nearly 17 percent spike in deaths related to the novel coronavirus in the United States during the past week, an indicator that typically follows a surge in cases.
A memo obtained by ABC News showed that since the start of September, there has been an increase in the number of people who have been killed by the coronavirus. It showed nearly 6,000 individuals died from COVID-19, a surge of 16.6 percent from the previous week.
“The national positivity rate for COVID-19 tests currently stands at 4.4%, a 0.1% decrease over the past week, according to the memo,” the outlet reported.
At the same time, there were just more than 261,000 new incidences of the virus reported, which is not quite a single percent decrease.
The U.S. has been the country most impacted by the disease with more than 6.6 million positive cases and 197,000 people dead. India is on track to surpass the U.S. within the next few weeks as the country with the highest increase.
California has been the hardest hit, with more than 772,000 people diagnosed. Florida and Texas follow close behind.
Experts said deaths are a lagging indicator that comes in the weeks following a surge in positive identifications, so the deaths are not unexpected.
In addition to the death toll, the news outlet stated the pandemic continues to negatively impact the economy, as 860,000 Americans said they lost their jobs and have filed for unemployment, a significant drop since a peak of 6.9 million claims in March.
Currently, more than 29 million individuals are receiving unemployment benefits.
As The Washington Post reported, the University of Washington’s Institute on Health Metrics estimates the U.S. will likely see greater than 410,000 deaths by the end of the year, based on current projections.
President Donald Trump recently addressed the number of deaths in the country, saying states that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, the so-called blue states, are responsible for the vast majority of deaths.
“So we’re down in this territory,” Trump said as he pointed to an illustration that indicated under 240,000 deaths would be considered a success.
“And that’s despite the fact that the blue states had had tremendous death rates. If you take the blue states out, we’re at a level that I don’t think anybody in the world would be at. We’re really at a very low level. But some of the states, they were blue states and blue state-managed.”
However, the Post pointed out this is inaccurate and areas that voted for him are responsible for about half of the total.
Trump has touted his administration’s handling of the crisis, as The Inquisitr previously covered, and stated it had only failed in its public relations.