The United States reported more than 60,000 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday, setting a new record for new cases reported in a single day, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
The country reported 60,021 recently confirmed cases in the past 24 hours as outbreaks continue to expand in various states, primarily in the southern and western United States. Arizona, California, Florida and Texas have accounted for almost half of all new cases in the United States in the past few days.
The record increase comes after new daily cases fell below 50,000 in recent days, though some public health officials warned there could be a backlog of reports due to the July 4 holiday weekend. The United States has reported 51,383 new cases on average in the past seven days, a record seven-day average, nearly 24.5% compared to a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of data collected by Johns Hopkins.
Top health officials, including White House health adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, have lamented in recent days that while many other countries managed to shut down and reduce new daily cases to a manageable level, The United States has not done the same.
“The European Union as an entity went up and then down to the baseline,” Fauci said Monday during a question-and-answer discussion with Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health. “Now they are having little problems, as expected, as they try to reopen. We went up, we never went down to the baseline, and now it is going back up. So it is a serious situation that we have to address immediately.”
Fauci said last week that the United States “is not in full control” of the coronavirus pandemic and that new daily cases could exceed 100,000 new infections per day if the outbreak continues at its current rate.
“I can’t make an accurate prediction, but it is going to be very disturbing,” Fauci told senators at a hearing on June 30 by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. “We now have over 40,000 new cases per day. I wouldn’t be surprised if we increase to 100,000 per day if this doesn’t change, and that’s why I’m very concerned.”
But the US is probably not diagnosing all infections in the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, because some people remain asymptomatic and never get tested. CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said the United States is probably diagnosing 1 in 10 cases.
However, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said earlier this week that the United States is likely spreading an even smaller portion of all infections because some areas with major outbreaks do not have enough resources to evaluate everyone who wants to get tested. .
“The CDC says we are diagnosing 1 in 10 now,” he said Monday on CNBC’s “Squawk Box”. “We are probably more like 1 in 12 because these states are under pressure and we are falling behind.”
Cases grew, on average, at least 5% in 37 states through Tuesday, according to a CNBC analysis of data collected by Johns Hopkins. CNBC uses a seven-day follow-up average to smooth spikes in data reports to identify where cases are increasing and decreasing.
Coronavirus-related hospitalizations also increased, on average, by at least 5% in 24 states, according to data analysis from Johns Hopkins’ CNBC.
It is likely that part of the increase in total cases is due to increased evidence. Nationally, the U.S. has increased testing from an average of just over 174,000 diagnostic tests per day through April to an average of over 650,000 tests per day so far in July, according to a CNBC analysis of data compiled by the Covid Monitoring Project. However, the percentage of tests that tested positive has also increased, which epidemiologists say is a sign of a virus that is spreading faster.
While new coronavirus cases have continued to rise, deaths from Covid-19 have remained stable and relatively low. Fauci and other health officials have attributed this to better clinical care for Covid-19 patients thanks to new treatment strategies, as well as the relatively low average age of people infected with the virus now.
On Monday, Fauci said the average age of people infected with the virus has dropped about 15 years compared to the average age of patients at the start of the outbreak. That’s significant because older people seem more likely to develop a severe case, require medical attention, and die from Covid-19, according to data from the CDC.
However, Fauci cautioned that Covid-19 deaths are delayed a few weeks after the case’s diagnosis due to the time it takes for someone to develop symptoms, search for evidence, be hospitalized, and die. He added that the more young people become infected, the greater the risk that young people will transmit the virus to the most vulnerable people, including the elderly and anyone, regardless of age, with underlying conditions such as diabetes.
“There are more cases. There are more hospitalizations in some of those places and they will see more deaths soon,” Fauci said in an interview last month with CNBC’s Meg Tirrell that was broadcast by the Milken Institute. “Although deaths are declining as a country, that does not mean that you are not going to start seeing them now.”
Beyond the death toll, scientists are still investigating the long-term health consequences of contracting the virus. Some research has indicated the potential to cause long-term respiratory damage and damage to other organs.
“It is a false narrative to feel comfortable with a lower death rate,” Fauci said Tuesday during an event broadcast live with Democratic Senator Doug Jones of Alabama. “There are many other things that are very dangerous and bad with this virus. Don’t get yourself into a false complacency.”
Disclosure: Scott Gottlieb is a CNBC contributor and a member of Pfizer’s boards, Genetic Testing Begins Tempus and the Illumina biotech company.