- The pace of coronavirus deaths in the US has gotten so bad that nine states have hit a scary milestone.
- In states like South Dakota, they’ve recorded at least one COVID-19 death for every 1,000 residents of the state.
- As the week began, the US was closing in on almost 13.5 million coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic, portending many more deaths to come.
For yet another example of how bad the coronavirus pandemic is getting in the US, consider this statistic: A whopping 21 states on Sunday hit a record high in terms of COVID-19-related hospitalizations.
The states include, according to a new CNBC report, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. What’s so worrisome about this trend, of course, is the fact that cases lead to hospitalizations — and, when hospitalizations are hitting a record high, it follows that a surge in coronavirus deaths is also around the corner.
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This helps explain why White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease expert in the US, said on Sunday that we shouldn’t expect current travel recommendations or localized COVID-19 restrictions to be lifted ahead of the Christmas holiday. And here’s something else that explains why he’s worried right now:
Coronavirus deaths have gotten so bad that in nine US states, more than 1 in 1,000 people have died of COVID-related causes.
In some of those nine states, that milestone is particularly frustrating, since they haven’t pushed at the state level for behaviors that could get those numbers down — like a statewide face mask mandate. In South Dakota, for example, it hit this milestone on Friday, becoming one of the latest states to see at least one COVID-19 death for every 1,000 people in the state.
Nevertheless, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem tweeted this out over the weekend, which some residents may have construed as encouragement to go out into stores and physically shop and spend money, while saying nothing about the state’s terrible COVID record:
— Governor Kristi Noem (@govkristinoem) November 28, 2020
On Saturday, the same day Gov. Noem begged people on Twitter to go shopping, South Dakota recorded 54 deaths, a record-high for the state, and also 819 new coronavirus infections out of 1,892 tests (for a positivity rate of 43%).
During a new appearance on CNBC’s program Squawk Box, former FDA chief Dr. Scott Gottlieb warned that up to 30% of the entire US population may end up having been infected by the coronavirus by year’s end. However, the arrival of a vaccine combined with high numbers of people who’ve been infected and recovered does mean we eventually get to a place “where this virus is not going to circulate as readily, once you get to those levels of prior immunity.”