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CDC sees ‘distressing trend’ as COVID-19 cases surge in U.S.

Dr. Jay Butler, the CDC Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases, spoke Wednesday at a rare on-camera media briefing at the agency’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, alongside Dr. Robert Redfield, the CDC’s director, and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

Dr. Butler said Covid-19 cases are now growing “really in all parts of the country,” with particularly high transmission in the Midwest. “This past week, we’ve seen nearly 60,000 cases a day on average, as well as 700 deaths,” he said.

He told reporters that the trend is likely due to people moving back indoors as the cooler temperatures arrive, but he added, “Smaller, more intimate gatherings of family, friends, and neighbors may be driving transmission as well, especially as they move indoors.”

“I recognize that we are all getting tired of the impact Covid-19 has had on our lives,” he said. “We’re tired of wearing masks, but it continues to be as important as it has ever been and I would say even more important than ever as we move into the fall season.”

The U.S. is reporting close to 60,000 new coronavirus infections daily, a disturbing number that has grown 17 percent since last week. according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Only two states, Hawaii and Virginia – reported declines greater than 5 percent as of Tuesday.

Much of the surge in coronavirus cases are occurring in the Midwest. States like Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin have recorded rises in Covid-19 case numbers in the last two weeks.

And while President Donald Trump claims that people are tired of hearing about COVID-19, saying “whatever, just leave us alone. They’re tired of it,” Americans need to know that as of Wednesday, the U.S. has recorded 8,322,814 new cases of coronavirus, and our death toll has risen to 221,862. And yes, the U.S. still leads the world in not only the number of cases but the number of deaths from the virus.

Hospitals are already reaching capacity, and this is particularly worrisome to health officials with the coming flu season. “If steps are not taken to reduce transmission at the community level, it’ll come to no surprise that health-care systems start to feel a pinch and start to head towards capacity and beyond capacity,” Dr. Isaac Bogoch, an infectious disease specialist and professor at the University of Toronto, told CNBC in a recent interview.

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We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend Karen Graham, who served as Editor-at-Large at Digital Journal. She was 78 years old. Karen's view of what is happening in our world was colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in humankind's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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