Coronavirus deaths rising again in US

Lisa Marie Payne and Mike Stobbe
·2-min read

Deaths per day from the coronavirus in the US are on the rise again, just as health experts had feared, and cases are climbing in practically every state.

This is despite assurances from President Donald Trump over the weekend that "We're rounding the turn, we're doing great."

With Election Day just over a week away, average deaths per day across the country are up 10 per cent over the past two weeks, from 721 to nearly 794 as of Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Confirmed infections per day are rising in 47 states, and deaths are up in 34.

Health experts had warned that it was only a matter of time before deaths turned upward, given the record-breaking surge in cases engulfing the country. Deaths are a lagging indicator - that is, it generally takes a few weeks for people to sicken and die from the coronavirus.

The virus is blamed for more than 8.6 million confirmed infections and more than 225,000 deaths in the US, the highest such totals anywhere in the world.

Deaths are still well below the US peak of over 2200 per day in late April. But experts are warning of a grim autumn and winter, with a widely cited model from the University of Washington projecting about 386,000 dead by February 1. A vaccine is unlikely to become widely available until mid-2021.

The seven-day rolling average for daily new cases hit a record high on Sunday of 68,767, according to Johns Hopkins, eclipsing the previous mark of 67,293, set in mid-July.

The US recorded more than 80,000 new cases on both Friday and Saturday - the highest marks ever - though testing has expanded dramatically over the course of the outbreak, making direct comparisons problematic.

The true number of infections is thought to be far higher because many Americans have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick.

On Sunday, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said :We're not going to control the pandemic" and that the focus should be on containment and treatment.

Trump, who spent several days in the hospital after contracting the virus, said repeatedly over the weekend that the country is "rounding the turn."

His remarks came amid another outbreak in the White House inner circle. Several close aides to Vice President Mike Pence tested positive, including his chief of staff.

Europe, which had aggressively tackled the virus with shutdowns, mask mandates and other steps in the spring, is also seeing an alarming resurgence.