COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations are increasing again with no sign of stopping, sparking fears that the fall and winter wave experts had warned about all year is already here.
Over the past week, according to The New York Times COVID-19 tracker, the U.S. has confirmed an average of 54,000 new cases per day, a 25 percent increase compared to two weeks ago. The surge cannot solely be explained by an increase in testing.
Nineteen states, including North Dakota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Kansas and Indiana, are seeing record-high case numbers in their areas, according to the tracker.
States that have seemingly gained control of the pandemic in recent months, such as Florida, New York, New Jersey, Arizona and others, are also seeing increases.
“We’ve been talking about the fall surge for a long time now. I think that is the beginning of that reality,” Scott Gottlieb, Trump’s former Food and Drug commissioner, told CNBC on Friday.
Gottlieb added that Europe, which is seeing a daily average of 100,000 new COVID-19 cases — higher than at any other time during the pandemic — is probably about two or three weeks ahead of the U.S.
“I think we’re in for a difficult fall and winter,” Gottlieb said.