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Majority of Americans at risk as number of COVID-19 cases surge

With an astounding 202, 247 coronavirus deaths in the U.S. as of Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University tracking data, health officials are now bracing for the real possibility of an increase in lives lost this fall and winter as the pandemic merges with the flu season.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Dr. Robert Redfield, testifying before the Senate Health Committee earlier this week, said that the majority of Americans, about 90 percent, are still at risk for getting COVID-19. This means 295 million Americans could still get the virus.

Dr. Redfield was also joined by other national health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, testing czar Adm. Brett Giroir and FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn. Together, the group of health officials put up a united front – not only against concerns that the vaccine approval process would be hampered by political interference – but in their concerns that the virus is not being controlled.

With 6,945,987 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 1,098 deaths reported on Wednesday alone, the US continues to lead the world in both deaths and infections and now experts warn that the spread of the virus could get much worse with schools now open and flu season on its way.

Large uptick in cases
At least 22 states are reporting an increase in virus cases over the past week, with the majority concentrated in the West and Midwest, though Maine and New Jersey also saw an uptick in new cases. On average. the U.S. is seeing more than 43,000 new cases per day – almost double the cases seen in June, when lockdowns and restrictions were eased.

Seven states – Arizona, Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, Texas, Utah and Wyoming – saw their daily new infections rise by at least 60 percent over the past week. The rise in cases certainly squashes Dr. Anthony Fauci’s hopes that the number of daily new cases would be around 10,000 by the fall.

“It’s incredibly high levels of transmission puts us in a very difficult situation going into the winter,” said Joshua Michaud, an infectious disease epidemiologist and associate director for global health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, reports The Hill.

“That’s because if we haven’t been able to reduce transmission to much lower levels than we have right now, it provides the seeds for further transmission as winter sets in.”

People can blame any one occurrence or event for the sudden increase in cases, but the bottom line is that America has not done a very good job of containing the virus. With over 202,000 people dead, this is what abject failure looks like.

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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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