WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
- President Donald Trump on Monday slammed the media of “fake news conspiracy,” saying that the surge of new COVID-19 cases was because of mass testing.
- Data showed, though, that both new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations rates continue to climb.
- Despite contracting the virus earlier this month, Trump has repeatedly downplayed the pandemic.
On Monday, President Donald Trump attributed the high cases of new COVID-19 infections to expanded testing and accused the media of “conspiracy” for portraying a disastrous pandemic.
“Cases up because we TEST, TEST, TEST,” he wrote on Twitter, adding that the coronavirus surge is a “fake news media conspiracy. Many young people heal very fast. 99.9%. Corrupt media conspiracy at all-time high.”
The president’s comment came as the country reported another all-time high record of new coronavirus cases. The US had a weekly average of 68,767 new cases daily reported on Sunday ━ the highest recorded seven-day average based on a CNBC analysis of data from John Hopkins University.
Last Friday, the country obtained a daily record high of 60,789 new coronavirus infections alone, surpassing the July 16 record of over 77,300 cases, according to the Hopkins tracking.
According to Hopkins, the country’s total positivity rate was at 6.2% percent this week versus 5.2% last week. Illinois was registering a positivity rate of 6.3%, while Wisconsin, which had a record high in average daily cases on Sunday, recorded a positivity rate of 16%. Kentucky, which also got a record high, recorded a positivity rate of 8.4%
In terms of COVID-19 hospitalizations, rates were higher than 5% and above in 34 states as of Sunday, as revealed by the CNBC analysis of data gathered by the COVID Tracking Project. Over 15 states got record highs in hospitalizations. Medical professionals warned that hospitalizations could further rise up as flu season approaches and more people would need medical attention.
During a press briefing on Friday, World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that “too many countries are seeing an exponential increase in cases, and that’s now leading to hospitals and ICU running close or above capacity, and we’re still only in October.”
“We are at a critical juncture in this pandemic, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere,” he added.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Trump’s former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, warned that the nation is already “at a tipping point.”
“We’re likely to see a very dense epidemic. I think we’re right now at the cusp of what is going to be exponential spread in parts of the country,” Gottlieb said on Monday.
Trump, who contracted COVID-19 earlier this month, has asserted that the US holds the highest cases in the world since it tests more people.