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Several U.S. States Caught Flatfooted as Coronavirus Cases Surge

June 18, 2020 (EIRNS)—There are at least ten states—maybe more—that are reporting single-day record tallies of new cases of COVID-19, the New York Times reports, largely occurring in the U.S. South and West.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), warned in an interview with CNBC that those states hit hardest by the latest surge of coronavirus cases are questioning, “ ‘can we keep this from getting out of control?’ ... This is a virus that wants to infect a very large portion of the population. They’re on the cusp of losing control of those outbreaks in certain parts of those states.... We’re seeing doubling times now falling under 10 days.” There is still time to get things under control, he said, but he is concerned “about the political landscape, and lack of political will” to take necessary mitigation measures.

EIR looked at the following:

• Florida: The Washington Post reported this afternoon that Florida today announced 3,207 additional cases, hitting the 11th day of records in its rolling case average. According to a new model from PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Florida is on track to becoming the next large epicenter for the coronavirus in the United States. Nota bene: The model linked the spread in community transmission there to travel during Memorial Day weekend.

Palm Beach County Health Director Dr. Alina Alonso emphasized to National Public Radio that there’s more community spread occurring. “The virus now has food out there. It has people that are out there without masks, without maintaining distancing. So, it’s infecting more people.” Gov. Ron DeSantis, however, has said he has no intention of shutting down the state.

• Arizona, where coronavirus hospitalizations have doubled since Memorial Day, May 25, reached a new high of 2,519. Public data shows inpatient beds across that state at 85% capacity.

• California: For the first time today, the state recorded more than 4,000 cases in one day, more than half of them (2,115) in Los Angeles County.

California and Florida are the first and third most-populous states in the country, respectively.

• Texas: the second most populous state, reached a record number of hospitalizations on June 17, of 2,793—a 66% increase since Memorial Day. The state opened up on April 20. Gov. Gregg Abbott is blaming the increased numbers of cases on young people who frequent bars and restaurants. In Austin, 24% of all hospitalizations are people between the ages of 20-29. In a press conference yesterday, Abbott named three counties in which most people testing positive are under the age of 30. Currently, bars and restaurants can operate at 75% capacity, as long as customers are seated 6 feet apart.

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