Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma and Texas reported record hikes after they had already hit all-time highs last week. At the Tucson Medical Center, only one ICU bed was available on Monday. “I don’t know where people in need of intensive care will be able to go – wrote Steven Oscherwitz, an infectious disease expert at the hospital – in a tweet, considering that most of Arizona’s hospitals are full.” And North Carolina reported that three out of four beds of its intensive care units were occupied.
Most health officials attribute the peak of these weeks to the reopening of businesses and meetings on Memorial Day in late May. Many states are also concerned about the possible increase in infections due to the tens of thousands of people who are protesting on the streets these days.
In Oregon, authorities are trying to contain an outbreak in a Pentecostal church. On May 24, hundreds of faithful could be seen on the church’s Facebook page who did not respect the safety distance and who sang together. The video has been deleted, but the effects of that assembly remain.
In Oklahoma, where President Donald Trump plans an indoor rally next Saturday, new cases have increased by 68% while the rate of virus-positive people has increased to 4% from 2% the previous week. For these reasons too, the Trump administration is considering moving the demonstration outdoors. Vice President Mike Pence, however, has tried to minimize: “In recent days the media are giving the alarm on a second wave of infections – he wrote in an article published in the Wall Street Journal – but this panic is exaggerated”.
Currently over two million people have been infected in the United States and 116,000 have died. It is by far the highest number in the world.