As COVID-19 cases have swelled to four million and the daily record of confirmed cases grows, medical experts are pushing political leaders to shut the country down once again to try to gain control over the virus.
The U.S. has recorded at least 4,038,748 confirmed cases and 144,304 deaths, CNN reports. Now, over 150 well-known U.S. medical experts, scientists, teachers, nurses, and other experts have written a letter to political leaders to halt state reopenings.
“Right now we are on a path to lose more than 200,000 American lives by November 1st. Yet, in many states people can drink in bars, get a haircut, eat inside a restaurant, get a tattoo, get a massage, and do myriad other normal, pleasant, but non-essential activities,” the letter said. On Thursday, the CDC told the outlet that coronavirus is set to become a leading cause of death in America.
Bill Gates also expressed his concern during a CNN coronavirus town hall. “Infection rates in the US are deeply troubling because the summer, when it's warmer, when people are outdoors more, actually it's easier to reduce the infection than it's going to be out in the fall,” he said. “So we're in a very tough situation.” The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is helping to pay for the development of a COVID vaccine.
Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House Coronavirus Task Force coordinator, has said that cases have begun plateauing in the four states—Texas, California, Arizona, Florida—that have seen surges. Now, other states, like New Mexico, Hawaii, and Missouri are seeing local outbreaks; all three states reported records for new daily cases on Thursday.
Los Angeles has also reported another 2,000-plus new confirmed cases, while Alaska is dealing with an outbreak at a seafood processing plant in Seward, where 96 workers have tested positive.