The COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge in much of the U.S., with states around the nation seeing a significant uptick in confirmed case numbers in recent weeks. According to a coronavirus data tracker maintained by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University, the country has surpassed the nine-million case mark as of Friday, October 30. The latest coronavirus-related milestone comes just two weeks after the U.S. crossed the eight-million case mark earlier this month.
Additionally, the JHU tracker has logged more than 229,000 American deaths resulting from COVID-19 infection, by far the most of any country in the world. Meanwhile, the situation could grow even worse with the cooling of temperatures.
As relayed by CBS News, Dr. Deborah Birx, coordinator of the White House's Coronavirus Task Force, told governors on a Friday call that almost one-third of the nation is currently in a COVID-19 hotspot. She also warned that a "broad surge" of the disease will likely be experienced across America, particularly in northern states, as fall transitions to winter, the weather continues to cool and people engage more in indoor activities.
"This is a broad surge across every state where it is cooling," Birx told state leaders.
"We're learning from the far north about how dramatic that spread can be, and we do not see yet improvements in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota or Wisconsin."Birx further admonished governors that it will take "every single person" in their states wearing masks, social distancing and practicing good hygiene in order for the pandemic to reach a plateau.
Her message on the current situation stands in stark contrast to that of President Donald Trump who, on the same day, insisted that the U.S. is "rounding the turn" during a rally in Wisconsin, as reported by The Hill. The commander-in-chief also continued to give himself and his administration a glowing assessment for the way in which they've handled the crisis while denouncing his rival in the upcoming presidential election, former Vice President Joe Biden.
"The truth is we have done an incredible job," Trump said.
"With our ventilators, the vaccines, therapeutics. And all [Biden] does — because he's got nothing else he can talk about because no administration in the history of our country has done what we've done."Others, however, have characterized the COVID-19 response in a far more negative way. As shared by The Inquisitr, mental health experts Alan D. Blotcky, David M. Reiss and Seth D. Norrholm penned an op-ed for Raw Story describing the president as "an existential threat to humanity." In the piece, they referred to Trump's coronavirus response as an "unmitigated failure."