Jul 06 2020

“I think that, at some point, that’s going to sort of just disappear, I hope.”

Wednesday, July 1, 2020. Interview withBlake Burman on Faux Business News.

Yup. Disappearing.

Rush to reopen led to spikes in cases that threaten to overwhelm hospitals in some states, officials say
By Robert Barnes and Derek Hawkins, Washinton Post
July 5, 2020

“We’re right back where we were at the peak of the epidemic during the New York outbreak,” former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on “Face the Nation” on CBS. “The difference now is that we really had one epicenter of spread when New York was going through its hardship, now we really have four major epicenters of spread: Los Angeles, cities in Texas, cities in Florida, and Arizona. And Florida looks to be in the worst shape.”

New coronavirus cases in that state on Sunday exceeded 10,000 in a day for the third time in the past week, after the state posted a record of 11,458 the previous day. The new infections pushed the state’s total caseload past 200,000, a mark passed by just two other states, New York and California.

“It’s clear that the growth is exponential at this point,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez (R) said on ABC’s “This Week.” More than 47,000 of Florida’s cases are in Miami-Dade.

“We’ve been breaking record after record after record . . . the last couple of weeks,” Suarez said. If the numbers don’t begin to fall, the mayor said, he would impose “more drastic measures” in the coming week.

The rolling seven-day average for daily new cases in the United States reached a high for the 27th day in a row, climbing past 48,000 on Sunday, according to The Washington Post’s tracking. Coronavirus-related hospitalizations rose to their highest levels to date in Arizona and Nevada.

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn was pressed to analyze President Trump’s comments Saturday that a vaccine would be ready “long before the end of the year” and that 99 percent of the cases have been “totally harmless.”

Hahn dodged both in appearances on the Sunday talk shows.

“If you don’t follow local and state guidelines about what to do, if you’re not following the CDC and White House task force guidelines, you are putting yourselves and you’re putting your loved ones at risk,” Hahn said in an appearance on CNN.

He also said it was “too early to tell” whether the Republican National Convention could be held safely in Jacksonville, Fla., next month. “We’ll have to see how this unfolds in Florida and elsewhere around the country,” Hahn said.

Trump’s campaign on Sunday said the president would hold an outdoor rally next Saturday night at Portsmouth International Airport in New Hampshire. “There will be ample access to hand sanitizer and all attendees will be provided a face mask that they are strongly encouraged to wear,” the campaign said in announcing the event.

Hahn, on ABC, refused to be pinned down about whether there would be a vaccine by the end of the year, as the president said.

“I can’t predict when a vaccine will be available,” he said, adding that the FDA was moving with “unprecedented speed for the development of a vaccine.”

But he noted that his department issued guidelines last week about vaccine development because “our solemn promise to the American people is that we will make a decision based upon the data and science on a vaccine with respect to the safety and effectiveness of that vaccine.”

Frustration about the pandemic response has mounted among local leaders, who say they have had to grapple with conflicting orders and frequently changing guidelines from governors and the White House as they try to curb sharply rising infections.

After Texas reported another single-day record for new coronavirus cases over the weekend, Austin Mayor Steve Adler (D) told CNN’s “State of the Union” that there won’t be enough medical personnel to keep up with the spike in cases if the rate of increase continues unabated in his city.

“If we don’t change this trajectory, then I am within two weeks of having our hospitals overrun,” he said, adding that intensive care units in the city could be overflowing within 10 days. He said he was not sure that Texas needed a statewide shelter-in-place order but that he wanted the authority to impose one locally.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego (D) attributed soaring case numbers in Arizona to the state’s decision to resume business as usual before the virus was under control. She noted that young people who ignored health precautions had probably led the explosion in cases.

Gallego said federal officials had dismissed her requests to conduct community-based testing in the area after people reported waiting in line for six hours at some testing sites. “We were told they’re moving away from that,” she said, “which feels like they are declaring victory while we’re still in crisis mode.”