The United States reported a record high of more than 90,000 new coronavirus infections on Friday, and today’s count is on pace to go even higher. The country has now exceeded 9 million cases since the outbreak began, with the last 1 million added in just the last two weeks.
More than 1,000 coronavirus deaths were also reported Thursday, a sadly frequent milestone, which the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. effectively dismissed Thursday night when he claimed in a Fox News interview that the death rate had dropped to “almost nothing.”
As evidence, Trump Jr. cited a misleading graph on his Instagram page – apparently compiled from incomplete and already outdated federal data – which was used as evidence to suggest that the “death rate” has been falling dramatically in the last two weeks. In fact, daily deaths are slightly rising after a long plateau, and the situation is expected to worsen in November as the virus takes its toll on the newly infected. “I realize I am naive,” Ashish K. Jha, the dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, tweeted in response to the interview. “But I’m still shocked by the casualness by which our political and media leaders and their families dismiss the daily deaths of nearly a thousand Americans.”
A federal program to inspect nursing homes in the early days of the U.S. outbreak cleared nearly 80 percent of them of any infection-control violations, including some facilities that were experiencing covid-19 outbreaks during the inspections. “All told, homes that received a clean bill of health earlier this year had about 290,000 coronavirus cases and 43,000 deaths among residents and staff, state and federal data shows,” our Business desk reported.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans will have coronavirus infections on Election Day, and options are dwindling for those who intend to vote. “Some will be required to get doctor’s notes or enlist family members to help,” our Investigations desk reported. “Others, in isolation, will need to have a witness present while they vote. Planned accommodations — such as officials hand-delivering ballots — may prove inadequate or could be strained beyond limits.”