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It's not just Trump: US coronavirus cases on the rise again

Trump's ailment can help serve as a reminder that that the coronavirus crisis is far from over, and in many parts of the country, it's getting worse.
Image: US-HEALTH-VIRUS-HOSPITAL-PANDEMIC-COMMUNITIES
Healthcare workers push a patient into a less intensive unit from the Covid-19 Unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas on July 2, 2020.Mark Felix / AFP - Getty Images file

In early April, the number of coronavirus cases in the United States peaked at around 30,000 new cases per day, before steadily declining over the next couple of months. Unfortunately, that progress didn't last, and in late July, the number of new domestic cases climbed to 70,000 per day.

A slow decline soon followed, until a few weeks ago, when the number of new infections started going up once more. We're now back to a daily number of new cases higher than the peak we saw in April. USA Today ran this discouraging summary over the weekend:

The news of President Donald Trump and members of his inner circle testing positive for COVID-19 has sent shock waves across the country, but it's not just the White House dealing with an onslaught of cases: Friday's nationwide case count was the highest daily total in nearly two months, while the weekly average of cases reported has seen an increase. There were more than 54,000 positive cases of the coronavirus reported on Friday, the highest single-day case count since Aug. 14, when the country recorded just over 64,000 cases, per Johns Hopkins University data.

The report added that a USA Today analysis of Johns Hopkins data through late Saturday found "six states -- Alaska, Indiana, Kentucky, Montana, Wisconsin and Wyoming -- set records for new cases in a week while two states -- South Dakota and Wisconsin -- had a record number of deaths in a week."

The New York Times added that North Dakota and South Dakota have added more cases per capita than any other state since the late summer, while Utah set its own record for new cases yesterday.

The Washington Post, meanwhile, reported late Friday, "Coronavirus cases have risen in 33 states and Puerto Rico since late August, and at least a dozen states have reported rising hospitalizations in recent days."

I can appreciate why a presidential hospitalization creates a national crisis that demands and deserves attention. It's also true that Trump's ailment can help serve as a reminder that that the coronavirus crisis in the United States is far from over, and in many parts of the country, the pandemic is getting worse, not better.