World Socialist Website - September 30, 2020

Wisconsin is emerging as one of the major hotspots for the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, with an average now of more than 2,000 new cases each day. This is more than double the rate of new cases during the first week of August and a sharp increase after the drop in new cases seen throughout that month.

Similar increased trends have occurred in other states in the region. North and South Dakota collectively have more than 800 new cases each day, almost four times the daily case rate two months ago. Cases in Missouri spiked after its reopening in June and July, going from less than 200 cases a day to now more than 1,500 and the number of new cases in Illinois is now above 2,000 per day for the first time since late May.

Nationally, there are on average more than 40,000 reported coronavirus cases each day, a value which was declining after its peak in July and now seems to have stabilized, adding to the nearly 7.4 million total infections the United States has so far suffered. And while daily deaths continue to decline, at least 750 die each day from the pandemic, a tally that now exceeds 210,000 lives lost. 

The pandemic is also moving away from major urban areas into smaller cities and towns. In Wisconsin, some of the most impacted areas are Green Bay and Fox Valley, where hospitals are nearing capacity. Moreover, as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports, new cases are not just being mostly reported among college-aged students as a consequence of reopening in-person instruction at universities across the country.

The spread at universities and the surrounding communities is especially damning in light of documents recently obtained by the New York Times which show that Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, and Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, told the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to downplay the threat of the coronavirus to young people. ...
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