Mark Katkov, NPR, July 2, 2020
Women wear masks in Houston Wednesday. Harris County requires any business providing goods or services to require all employees and visitors to wear face coverings in areas of close proximity to co-workers or the public, at least through Aug. 26. David J. Phillip/AP
In a grim accounting of the coronavirus’ progress in the United States, another milestone was reached Wednesday: more than 50,000 new cases reported in a single day.
Johns Hopkins University & Medicine’s Coronavirus Resource Center, which tracks the virus worldwide, says the total number of cases reported in the U.S. stands at 2,686,480, an increase over Tuesday’s figure of 50,700. Deaths attributed to the coronavirus stand at 128,062.
Brazil is ranked second in the world behind the United States, with 1,448,753 cases and 60,632 deaths.
In testimony Tuesday before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease specialist, predicted the number of new coronavirus cases in the U.S. could soon reach 100,000 per day.
Fauci drew an unfavorable comparison between U.S. and European efforts to control the spread of the virus, noting up to 95% of Europeans were at some point on lockdown compared to 50% of Americans.
In an interview Wednesday with Mary Louise Kelly on NPR’s All Things Considered, Fauci conceded the federal government’s inconsistent early guidance on whether to wear face masks was “detrimental” to containing the virus.
But he said he is encouraged by the growing number of Republican leaders now calling on people to wear masks, including Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Referring to his Senate testimony the previous day, Fauci said, “It really does not have to be 100,000 cases a day.”