The Second Wave is Here
American President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma last week should have marked a new chapter, namely the post-pandemic chapter. The successful defeat of the “invisible enemy”, “the plague” or – of more recent vintage – “Kung Flu,” as the president has called the virus.
Infection Rates are Rising Again
However, while the president sought to declare the victory over a battle that was never won in the first place, the numbers of infections had reach worrisome highs again already. The virus has now returned with a vengeance, raging more violently than in the early weeks of the pandemic as the number of newly infected people reaches almost 40,000 a day.
What figures in previous weeks have been indicating across half of the 50 states, has now become a fact: the COVID-19 crisis is worsening again — dramatically. According to the Washington Post and the New York Times, Wednesday marked the highest number of daily new infections since the pandemic began. The Washington Post reported 38,173 new infections on Wednesday. The previous record of 34,203 cases was reported on April 25. The New York Times reported 36,975 cases on the same day, exceeding the April 24 peak of 36,739 cases.
South Hit Particularly Hard This Time Around
However, unlike during the first wave, the increase in infections is particularly noticeable in the south of the country. The states of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, therefore, ordered travelers from several states in the south to be quarantined. The situation in metropolitan New York City and neighboring areas, meanwhile, has been brought under control in recent months with strict measures such as exit restrictions and business closures.
The steps in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut show how the coronavirus crisis in the United States has shifted regionally: For a long time, the state of New York and The Big Apple itself had been the epicenter of the pandemic. More than 30,000 people died. Now, it is primarily the states of Texas, Florida and California, for example, which are currently experiencing their highest infection rates since the outbreak of the virus. What has been feared from many sides, namely that all the relaxation of the corona restrictions could come back like a boomerang, has thus now occurred.
Testing is Increasing
Nonetheless, a second factor is responsible for the increase, which is the increase in tests being conducted across the nation. However, it’s worth assessing the testing details. Although the states are testing much more than at the beginning of the pandemic, there are still few tests compared to the extent of the outbreak in the country, despite the president’s claims. Other nations, such as Canada, for example, continue to perform about as many tests per one million people as the US. However, Canada has about ten times fewer infected people per million than its southern neighbor. Even more worrisome: Out of 100 test conducted in the US, five are positive. In comparison, out of 100 tests conducted in Germany, 0.7 are positive.
Critics continue to condemn Trump for the devastating effects of the crisis. He initially continue to negate the impact and the threat the virus posed while pressing for a quick return to normal for months, simply as a more prolonged shutdown further decreases his chances of reelection. It is an open secret that Trump has dropped the ball on the topic, and it is hard to imagine that he can overcome the tragedy of over 130,000 dead Americans.
Trump Glosses Over Virus, Returns to Economy
Accordingly — and this makes the president’s failures even more worrisome — the topic no longer seems to play a role for the president. Instead, he has been talking about the fact that the economy is strengthening again for weeks and that the people who succumbed to the virus did thus not die “in vain” – which is a surreal remark, even for Donald Trump.
The White House has given up the fight against the virus. Instead of saving lives, the administration is interested in saving Trump’s campaign. Instead of addressing the issue and taking responsibility for the disastrous crisis management, the president focuses on his political opponents, his “law and order” image, and dog-whistle politics — all to the detriment of the nation.