May 15, 2021

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U.S. reports 77,200 new coronavirus cases, shattering one-day record

The United States reported 77,255 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday, shattering its previous record single-day spike in new cases by nearly 10,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The previous record of 67,791 new cases was reported on July 10. The U.S. has reported more than 65,400 new cases on average over the past seven days, up nearly 22% compared with a week ago, according to a CNBC analysis of the data from Hopkins.

New cases are rising in nearly every state. Forty-four states and the District of Columbia all reported that the seven-day average of daily new cases rose by more than 5% on Thursday compared with a week ago, according to the Hopkins data.

California, Florida and Texas accounted for more than half of all new cases in the country on Thursday, reporting more than 38,700 new cases combined.

Hospitalizations also appear to be growing in at least 32 states, based on a seven-day average, according to a CNBC analysis of data from the Covid Tracking Project, an independent volunteer organization launched by journalists at The Atlantic.

Covid-19 deaths, which tend to lag new cases and hospitalizations, are on the rise across the U.S. as well. Florida reported 156 new deaths on Thursday and Texas reported 151 coronavirus-related deaths, according to data from Hopkins. Both states were reporting around 30 coronavirus deaths a day a month ago.

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump again attributed the increase in cases to ramped up testing.

The country processed 830,918 tests on Thursday, the most tests ever conducted in a single day, according to data from the Covid Tracking Project. The U.S. has processed an average of more than 690,800 tests per day between July 1 and July 16, according to a CNBC analysis of the Covid Tracking Project’s data. That’s up from a daily average of just over 174,000 diagnostic tests processed nationally per day through April, according to CNBC’s analysis.

“Think of this, if we didn’t do testing, instead of testing over 40 million people, if we did half the testing we would have half the cases,” the president said Tuesday evening. “If we did another, you cut that in half, we would have, yet again, half of that. But the headlines are always testing.” 

Assistant Secretary for Health Adm. Brett Giroir told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Friday that the U.S. was doing a “historic” amount of testing. He said there have been 47 million Covid-19 tests run in the U.S. so far, 800,000 yesterday alone. 

Trump’s medical advisors, including Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci, have said the recent surge in cases is a sign of an expanding outbreak, not the increased testing. Giroir told reporters on a conference call that “we are all concerned about the increase in cases we are currently seeing throughout the country.”

Giroir said if hard-hit areas shut down indoor bars, limit indoor dining and get most of the public to comply with face covering guidance, the U.S. could “shut down the outbreak without completely shutting down your local area.”

“But the bottom line is, we know what to do to stop the current outbreak,” he added on Thursday. “Now we have very, very good models that in the hot areas, these red zones that have high cases, that have high percentages increasing, it’s very, very important to really close indoor bars.”

Last month, Fauci warned lawmakers that the U.S. is “not in total control” of the virus and daily new cases could surpass 100,000 per day if the outbreak continues on its current trajectory. At that time, the U.S. was reporting nearly 40,000 new coronavirus cases every day. 

“I can’t make an accurate prediction but it’s going to be very disturbing,” Fauci told senators on June 30 in a hearing held by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “We are now having 40-plus-thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around, and so I am very concerned.”

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