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Trump claims the ‘coronavirus death rate is down’ despite startling data that it’s RISING again

Donald Trump boldly claimed the coronavirus death rate is ‘down’ in the US, even though startling data, including a record-breaking rise in infections and hospitalizations, points toward another surge in fatalities. 

The president took to Twitter late Thursday to claim that the staggering rise in COVID-19 cases is due to ‘massive’ testing measures, despite previously admitting he told officials to ‘slow testing down’ when numbers got too high, which health chiefs passed off as a joke. 

This is great news, but even better news is that death, and the death rate, is DOWN. Also, younger people, who get better much easier and faster!’ Trump tweeted. 

However, on Thursday the US saw a record-high of over 53,000 new COVID-19 cases, meaning the virus is far from gone. 

The number of coronavirus hospitalizations in the US is also on the rise after falling for two months between April and mid-June, bolstering expert claims that lockdowns were lifted too soon. 

A decline in the number of people dying also appears to have levelled off, prompting one expert to say the US is ‘losing the battle’ against Covid-19. The US on June 27 recorded 2,516 more deaths, according to the World Health Organization — a shocking jump up from 733 the Monday before. 

This trend is likely to start rising again within the next two weeks — or fade out within days if the figures are a blip — as some of the people infected in mid-June start to die in the nation’s hospitals. It takes two to four weeks for a Covid-19 patient to die, on average.

Donald Trump boldly claimed the coronavirus death rate is 'down' in the US, even though startling data, including a record-breaking rise in infections and hospitalizations, points towards another surge in fatalities

Donald Trump boldly claimed the coronavirus death rate is ‘down’ in the US, even though startling data, including a record-breaking rise in infections and hospitalizations, points towards another surge in fatalities

'This is great news, but even better news is that death, and the death rate, is DOWN. Also, younger people, who get better much easier and faster!' Trump tweeted

'This is great news, but even better news is that death, and the death rate, is DOWN. Also, younger people, who get better much easier and faster!' Trump tweeted

‘This is great news, but even better news is that death, and the death rate, is DOWN. Also, younger people, who get better much easier and faster!’ Trump tweeted

It takes two to four weeks for a fatal COVID-19 patient to die, on average, meaning deaths could spike soon. The US on June 27 recorded 2,516 more deaths, according to the World Health Organization — a shocking jump up from 733 the Monday beforw

It takes two to four weeks for a fatal COVID-19 patient to die, on average, meaning deaths could spike soon. The US on June 27 recorded 2,516 more deaths, according to the World Health Organization — a shocking jump up from 733 the Monday beforw

It takes two to four weeks for a fatal COVID-19 patient to die, on average, meaning deaths could spike soon. The US on June 27 recorded 2,516 more deaths, according to the World Health Organization — a shocking jump up from 733 the Monday beforw

This graph by Johns Hopkins University shows the upward trend of deaths from COVID-19 in the US since the pandemic began

This graph by Johns Hopkins University shows the upward trend of deaths from COVID-19 in the US since the pandemic began

This graph by Johns Hopkins University shows the upward trend of deaths from COVID-19 in the US since the pandemic began

More than 2.6million people in the US have already been struck down with the disease — a quarter of the world’s total. And at least 128,000 citizens have died since the crisis spiralled out of control. 

On Thursday eight states saw single-day record highs including Alaska, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Montana, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Soaring numbers of people started testing positive for the coronavirus in June after the outbreak appeared to be shrinking. On Wednesday a record-high of 52,000 new cases were confirmed across the country, a figure described as ‘disturbing’ by the White House’s top virus adviser Dr Anthony Fauci.

And the average numbers of people being diagnosed rose consistently throughout June — from 151,143 in the first seven days of the month to 288,258 last week, driven by soaring outbreaks in many Republican-voting states.    

Data in the US has shown a shift in the areas that are being worst affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, with Trump-voting states now accounting for a majority of new confirmed cases each day — 73 per cent of all new daily cases diagnosed on June 28.

Nine out of the 10 states with the biggest increases in daily positive tests since May have been those which voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, with Arizona, Idaho, Florida and South Carolina seeing case counts surge.

The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has risen to more than 35,000 in recent weeks after hitting its lowest point since April in mid-June. As hospitalizations rise, deaths are expected to increase proportionately (Data from The Covid Tracing Project)

The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has risen to more than 35,000 in recent weeks after hitting its lowest point since April in mid-June. As hospitalizations rise, deaths are expected to increase proportionately (Data from The Covid Tracing Project)

The number of people in hospital with Covid-19 has risen to more than 35,000 in recent weeks after hitting its lowest point since April in mid-June. As hospitalizations rise, deaths are expected to increase proportionately (Data from The Covid Tracing Project)

The number of people dying of COVID-19 in the US has remained relatively stable in June – there were a total 6,398 in the first week of the month, according to the WHO, and 6,178 in the past seven days.

But the number of people in hospital is on the rise and will inevitably lead to more deaths. Data for July 2 showed there were 37,114 people in hospitals across the country. 

The number had hit its lowest point since April in the middle of June, when there were 27,115 patients accounted for on June 15, a significant drop from a peak of 59,260 on April 15, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project. There were more than 50,000 people in hospital at any given time between April 10 and May 6. 

As the number of people in hospital gets higher the number of deaths would be expected to rise proportionally with it. 

Experts fear that as the number of cases rising and the emergence of new hotspots – Delaware, Ohio and Colorado are projected to be on track for new outbreaks – means the virus is now totally out of control.

Dr David Rubin, a professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania, said Wednesday: ‘We need to admit that we are losing the battle nationally to contain this dangerous virus as it engulfs more communities across the country, including those in the Northeast and Midwest that worked so hard to reduce cases and get back to a relatively normal way of life.’

Many areas face second lockdowns after attempting to get back to normal, as the virus has rebounded in locations where rules were relaxed. 

Arizona, Texas, California, Florida and Delaware have rolled back plans to lift lockdown rules amid surging cases.

In comparison, the most cases recorded in a single day in Britain was 6,201 on May 1. In Brazil the most cases recorded in a day has been 54,771.

As the numbers of people being diagnosed with the virus increases, so too will the number of people being admitted to hospital with severe COVID-19 – assuming the cases are spread throughout all age groups.

It can take up to a week, on average, for someone’s condition to deteriorate to the point they need hospital care after they have developed COVID-19 symptoms.

The number of people being diagnosed with COVID-19 in the US has surged in June to its highest ever level yesterday, with 52,000 new cases. This is in part due to improved testing provision but experts say infections genuinely appear to be rising, too

The number of people being diagnosed with COVID-19 in the US has surged in June to its highest ever level yesterday, with 52,000 new cases. This is in part due to improved testing provision but experts say infections genuinely appear to be rising, too

The number of people being diagnosed with COVID-19 in the US has surged in June to its highest ever level yesterday, with 52,000 new cases. This is in part due to improved testing provision but experts say infections genuinely appear to be rising, too

A greater proportion of new coronavirus cases are being diagnosed in states that voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Those states tend to be more rural and have lower incomes (Data by the Associated Press)

A greater proportion of new coronavirus cases are being diagnosed in states that voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Those states tend to be more rural and have lower incomes (Data by the Associated Press)

A greater proportion of new coronavirus cases are being diagnosed in states that voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Those states tend to be more rural and have lower incomes (Data by the Associated Press)

ARE THE US’S SECOND LOCKDOWNS AN OVER-REACTION? 

Various states and cities in the US are rolling back plans to reopen after lockdown or even bringing in new measures amid rising numbers of Covid-19 cases.

In California, Arizona and parts of Delaware, bars have been asked to close once again to try and stop the spread of disease. 

But the people catching the coronavirus now are younger than they were in the earlier days of the pandemic, data shows, suggesting that the risk of death is lower and strict lockdowns may not be as necessary.

In Florida, the median age of people testing positive is now in the mid-30s, down from higher than 65 in March, New York Magazine reports.

‘If you look at that 25-to-34 age group, that is now by far the leading age group for positive tests,’ said Governor Ron DeSantis.

In Arizona, cases have soared among the under-19s in an eight-fold rise, while they rose six times for people between 20 and 44, and just two times for over-65s. The average age fell from 49 to 35.

In Oklahoma around half of new cases are among under-35s, NY Mag reported, and cases have been attributed to younger people at bars and beaches in Michigan and Delaware.

Younger people are known to be significantly less likely to die if they catch Covid-19, and scientists in the UK say the risk of death from any cause has not been increased for people under the age of 45 because of the pandemic.

So locking down entire cities or states because of rising cases among the young could be a step too far, some argue.

British columnist Gerard Baker, writing in The Times newspaper today, said they were a ‘gross overreaction’.

He said: ‘We’ll need more evidence before we can say for sure how serious the new surge is but the overall picture continues to suggest that the threat from the virus has been consistently overstated…

‘The new data we are seeing in the US suggest that, far from justifying the most extreme lockdown measures, with all the damage to the economy they do, the spread of the virus is much less of a threat to health and life than was widely argued.

‘With proper, targeted protection of the most vulnerable it would probably not have been necessary to shut down entire economies.’    

Most people sent into hospital then recover but, for those who don’t, it can take weeks longer for them to be moved to intensive care or to become so ill that they die.

Throughout the pandemic, scientists have suggested there is a lag of between two and four weeks, on average, between somebody becoming ill with COVID-19 and dying of it. 

Surging numbers of cases in June, therefore, could lead to rises in the daily death tolls within the next week or two. 

Speaking in mid-June, when the numbers of cases started to rise again, Dr Ali Mokdad, a global health expert at the University of Washington, told the Associated Press: ‘We’re going to see a rise in deaths in many places in the United States.’  

Recent startling spikes in cases have forced states such as Texas, California and Florida to buckle down and halt their reopenings after businesses hoped to emerge from statewide lockdowns.

On Wednesday, California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all bars, indoor restaurants and cinemas to shut down immediately in most parts of the state, nearly three weeks after they opened for the first time following a three-month lockdown.

Since then, the number of COVID-19 cases began to rise again, increasing nearly 50 per cent over the last two weeks, with a 43 per cent spike in hospitalizations.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order for bars, gyms and movie theaters to shut down immediately on Monday.

Tuesday, Delaware ordered some of its beach towns shut down their bars after a recent spike in cases.

Top US infectious disease specialist Dr Anthony Fauci warned during a Tuesday Senate hearing that daily infections could soar to 100,000 ‘if this does not turn around’ and, while he declined to predict a specific number of fatalities, he worries the death toll in the US could reach ‘disturbing’ heights.

President Trump has attributed the surging daily case numbers to a ‘great’ expansion of coronavirus testing in the US. The number of test run Tuesday, June 30, was nearly double the number of tests run on May 30, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

But the number of daily cases has now far surpassed what was thought to be the pandemic’s peak, in April.

Public health experts warn that, although the number of people dying each day is down significantly, these increases typically lag behind case increases, with one recent study estimating a 17-day delay. 

But there are concerns that locking down cities and states again could be an over-reaction because the elderly – who are far more likely to die if they catch the coronavirus – are not catching it as often as they were. 

In Florida, the median age of people testing positive is now in the mid-30s, down from higher than 65 in March, New York Magazine reports.

‘If you look at that 25-to-34 age group, that is now by far the leading age group for positive tests,’ said Governor Ron DeSantis.

In Arizona, cases have soared among the under-19s in an eight-fold rise, while they rose six times for people between 20 and 44, and just two times for over-65s. The average age fell from 49 to 35.

In Oklahoma around half of new cases are among under-35s, NY Mag reported, and cases have been attributed to younger people at bars and beaches in Michigan and Delaware.

Younger people are known to be significantly less likely to die if they catch COVID-19, and scientists in the UK say the risk of death from any cause has not been increased for people under the age of 45 because of the pandemic.

Nine out of the 10 states with the biggest increases in daily positive tests since May have been those which voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election, with Arizona, Idaho, Florida and South Carolina seeing case counts surge 

So locking down entire cities or states because of rising cases among the young could be a step too far, some argue. 

State-by-state data shows there has been a shift in the locations where people are spreading the virus most, too.

While the early days of the US’s epidemic was concentrated in wealthy urban cities – New York remains one of the worst affected cities in the world – analysis by the Associated Press shows the spread of the virus has shifted from Democratic-voting states to Republican ones.

On June 28, states that voted for Trump in the 2016 presidential election accounted for an overwhelming 73 per cent of all new cases diagnosed, with the remaining 27 per cent in states that voted for Hillary Clinton.

This was a total reversal of the situation in March when, for the first week of the month, 91 per cent of cases were diagnosed in Democratic states.

Data shows that nine out of the 10 areas which have seen the biggest surges in cases between May and July were Trump-voting areas. In particular, Arizona, Idaho, Florida and South Carolina saw big surges.

Alaska, Alabama, Texas, Arkansas, Utah, Oklahoma are all also seeing rises in infections, while a larger proportion of states where outbreaks are shrinking were ones that voted for Hillary in 2016.

In the east, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Illinois and New Hampshire are all seeing marked declines in their case counts.

Trump supporters have been less likely to take the threat of the virus seriously, according to AP, and Republican governors have been more likely to put off enacting lockdowns on their citizens, potentially contributing to the spread.

They have been more likely to take the lead of the president, who has been criticised for not taking COVID-19 seriously enough.

Contrary to data showing the outbreak is still very real crisis for the US, President Donald Trump insisted the virus will simply disappear during an interview with Fox on Wednesday.

‘I think we’re going to have a vaccine very soon,’ he said. ‘We’re headed back in a very strong fashion … And I think we’re going to be very good with the coronavirus. I think that at some point that’s going to sort of just disappear. I hope.’ 

New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo – a Democrat – hit out at the president last week on CNN, and said: ‘You played politics with this virus, and you lost… You told the people of this state, you told the people of this country, the White House: “Don’t worry about it. Go about your business. This is all Democratic hyperbole.”

‘It was never politics,’ he added. ‘It was always science.’ 

HOW OUTBREAKS HAVE CHANGED IN THE PAST TWO MONTHS ACROSS THE US 
STATE HOW IT VOTED IN 2016 WEEKLY CASES UP TO JULY 1 WEEKLY CASES UP TO MAY 2 % INCREASE/DECREASE
Montana REPUBLICAN 284 9 3055.56%
Arizona REPUBLICAN 24,629 2,193 1023.07%
Idaho REPUBLICAN 1,863 199 836.18%
Florida REPUBLICAN 51,734 5,885 779.08%
South Carolina REPUBLICAN 10,698 1,341 697.76%
Alaska REPUBLICAN 179 27 562.96%
Alabama REPUBLICAN 7,587 1,223 520.36%
Texas REPUBLICAN 45,105 7,285 519.15%
Arkansas REPUBLICAN 4,694 845 455.50%
Nevada DEMOCRAT 4,920 1,019 382.83%
Utah REPUBLICAN 4,611 1,106 316.91%
Oklahoma REPUBLICAN 2,672 731 265.53%
Oregon DEMOCRAT 1,573 452 248.01%
California DEMOCRAT 44,863 13,073 243.17%
North Carolina REPUBLICAN 11,065 3,315 233.79%
Mississippi REPUBLICAN 5,613 1,778 215.69%
Louisiana REPUBLICAN 7,856 2,913 169.69%
Georgia REPUBLICAN 15,363 6,052 153.85%
Wyoming REPUBLICAN 257 113 127.43%
Missouri REPUBLICAN 3,408 1,514 125.10%
Tennessee REPUBLICAN 7,956 3,610 120.39%
Washington DEMOCRAT 3,954 1,884 109.87%
West Virginia REPUBLICAN 334 170 96.47%
Maine DEMOCRAT 323 186 73.66%
Wisconsin REPUBLICAN 3,824 2,262 69.05%
Ohio REPUBLICAN 6,252 4,049 54.41%
New Mexico DEMOCRAT 1,453 1,134 28.13%
Kentucky REPUBLICAN 1,785 1,398 27.68%
Minnesota DEMOCRAT 3,247 2,545 27.58%
Kansas REPUBLICAN 1,978 1,967 0.56%
Hawaii DEMOCRAT 71 79 -10.13%
Vermont DEMOCRAT 45 54 -16.67%
South Dakota REPUBLICAN 438 569 -23.02%
Iowa REPUBLICAN 2,896 3,960 -26.87%
Virginia DEMOCRAT 3,793 5,307 -28.53%
North Dakota REPUBLICAN 263 398 -33.92%
Indiana REPUBLICAN 2,961 5,591 -47.04%
Pennsylvania REPUBLICAN 5,056 9,918 -49.02%
Nebraska REPUBLICAN 1,220 2,714 -55.05%
Delaware DEMOCRAT 663 1,476 -55.08%
Colorado DEMOCRAT 2,010 4,486 -55.19%
Maryland DEMOCRAT 2,911 6,856 -57.54%
Michigan REPUBLICAN 2,771 7,065 -60.78%
New Hampshire DEMOCRAT 224 640 -65.00%
Illinois DEMOCRAT 6,014 19,121 -68.55%
Rhode Island DEMOCRAT 354 2,706 -86.92%
Connecticut DEMOCRAT 732 5,664 -87.08%
New Jersey DEMOCRAT 2,252 21,201 -89.38%
Massachusetts DEMOCRAT 1,672 18,288 -90.86%
New York DEMOCRAT 2,528 39,385 -93.58%

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