By Ciara Linnane, MarketWatch
A previous version of this report appeared under a headline stating that the U.S. had recorded 1,000 new COVID-19 cases for five straight days. It has, in fact, seen 1,000 deaths from the disease on each of those five days. The story has been corrected.
The U.S. case tally for the coronavirus illness COVID-19 rose above 4.2 million on Monday, after a fifth straight day of more than 1,000 deaths from the disease, as states in the South and West continue to struggle to contain the virus’s spread.
Dr. Deborah Birx, lead coordinator of the White House task force set up to oversee the pandemic response, said Kentucky and some other states should reimpose shutdowns of bars and limit indoor gatherings.
“We do believe that there are states that do need to close their bars, to decrease indoor gatherings to less than 10 and to decrease social gatherings to less than 10 to really make it possible to control the pandemic before it gets worse,” she told reporters at a news conference with Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear.
Birx named Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia as states that should reintroduce restrictions on movement and said health officials are worried about the total number of new cases and the percentage testing positive.
Florida surpassed New York, the early hot spot in the U.S. outbreak, by case tally over the weekend, as the Associated Press reported. Florida counted 9,344 new cases on Sunday, and 77 deaths, according to the Florida Department of Health. The Sunshine State now has had 423,855 cases, second only to California, which has had 453,659, according to the California Department of Health.
New York’s case tally stands at 416,443, according to a New York Times tracker.
States in the South and West continue to report rising rates of hospitalizations, taking the tally close to the peak hit on April 15, according to the COVID-19 Tracking Project. There were 58,614 COVID-19 patients in U.S. hospitals on Monday, compared with the April record of 59,940.
The World Health Organization, which will meet this week to discuss COVID-19’s emergency status as it is required to do every six months, is expected to stick with that assessment, but may change some of its recommendations as to how the world should respond to the crisis.
The agency has only issued a public health emergency of international concern five times since rules were changed in 2007, for swine flu, polio, Zika and for two Ebola outbreaks in Africa.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said COVID-19 “is easily the most severe” of those outbreaks.
Arthur Laffer, an economist who served on President Ronald Reagan’s Economic Policy Advisory Board, told MSNBC the U.S. needs to step up testing to get the virus under control.
“We need to take care of the disease first and foremost. And then prepare for re-entry into prosperity,” Laffer said. The economist added that he’s happy the stock market /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX -0.84% is doing well but said it does not reflect the many independent small businesses that are suffering and failing.
Austan Goolsbee, Robert P. Gwinn Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, agreed. “If we’d had paid sick leave, we could have prevented this,” he said on the same MSNBC segment, allowing infected people to stay home and not spread disease among co-workers.
Tropical Storm Hanna, Hurricane Douglas Threaten Parts of U.S.
Tropical Storm Hanna has brought heavy rainfall and life-threatening flash floods to communities in southern Texas that are already facing a surge in new coronavirus cases. Meanwhile, Hurricane Douglas approached Hawaii. Photo Credit: Eric Gay / Associated Press
There are now 16.3 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, and at least 648,966 people have died. The data show 9.3 million people have recovered.
The U.S. has the highest case tally and death toll, 146,968.
Brazil is second to the U.S. with 2.4 million cases and 87,004 deaths.
India is third measured by cases at 1.4 million, followed by Russia with 811,073 and South Africa with 445,433.
The U.K. has 301,020 cases and 45,837 fatalities, the highest in Europe and third highest in the world.
China, where the illness was first reported late last year, has 86,570 cases after adding more than 200 over the weekend, and 4,652 fatalities.