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BLM protests to 'end racism' spiked Corona infections. Photo from Pexels

Young people contribute to highest single day Corona spike in US

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests, a record number of new Coronavirus cases have been registered in the United States in a single day. Asymptomatic young people - those who demonstrated by ignoring social distancing and masks - may have been helping to fuel the fresh spike.

Published: June 26, 2020, 9:50 am

    Some 45 557 infections were reported on Wednesday, according NBC News. It is a new high, topping the numbers from April 26 by more than 9 000 cases. Arizona, Arkansas, California, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas each admitted record numbers of infected people to hospital, the Washington Post reported. Nevada and Missouri also reported record case increases.

    The resurgence in Southern and Western states of the US can be traced back the death of African American George Floyd, when protests erupted, lockdowns were loosened and businesses reopened.

    Globally, more than 183 000 new cases were reported worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. In the US, there have been more than 2,3 million confirmed cases and more than 121 000 deaths so far.

    Many hospitals are struggling because they are overwhelmed by young patients. In Florida, with more than 109 000 cases, available capacity for adult intensive care units is only 21 percent, according to state data released on Wednesday. The median age of people testing positive has dropped to 35, from 65 in March.

    In Arizona, only 12 percent ICU beds are available, the state health department reported on Tuesday. At least half of all cases affect people aged between 20 to 44, the New York Times reported.

    Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said younger people have helped spread the disease. He said those already infected may even be much higher. “Our best estimate right now is that for every case that was reported, there actually were 10 other infections.”

    Redfield pointed out that young people “act as a transmission connector for individuals that could in fact be at a higher risk”.

    The Coronavirus has “brought this nation to its knees” Redfield told a hearing in Washington. He said core public health capabilities were underfunded and needed urgent investment. “We have all done the best that we can do to tackle this virus and the reality is that it’s brought this nation to its knees,” he told the House energy and commerce committee.

    “We are probably going to spend $7 trillion because of one little virus,” he continued.

    In one Texas county, people under 40 constitute a staggering 75 percent of new cases. “What is clear is that the proportion of people who are younger appears to have dramatically changed,” said Joseph McCormick, a professor of epidemiology at UT Health School of Public Health in Brownsville told the daily. “It’s really quite disturbing.” Texas confirmed a record daily case increase on Tuesday.

    California also recorded its biggest single-day Corona spike on Wednesday. Some 7 149 additional cases brought the state’s total of confirmed cases to 190 222. Despite this grim record, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, praised California.

    He claimed that the state had launched a successful social justice crusade against the virus. “Californians have risen to the occasion on social issues so well in the past, you’ve been the leaders in the country on those things. This is an issue that really has social responsibility associated with it,” Fauci told the Sacramento Press Club.

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