1,971 Americans Die of Covid-19 on Thursday as U.S. Sets Record For Daily Cases

Respiratory therapist Babu Paramban talks on the phone next to hospital beds while taking a break in the COVID-19 unit at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020.
Respiratory therapist Babu Paramban talks on the phone next to hospital beds while taking a break in the COVID-19 unit at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the Mission Hills section of Los Angeles, Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020.
Photo: Jae C. Hong (AP)

The U.S. reported 1,971 deaths from covid-19 on Thursday, the highest death toll since May, according to the Covid Tracking Project. The country also recorded over 182,000 new cases and more than 80,000 Americans are currently hospitalized, both grim new records for the U.S. during the pandemic. Public health experts warn it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

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The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention issued a new warning on Thursday, imploring Americans not to travel this Thanksgiving to help slow the spread of the disease. For those who insist on seeing extended family on Thanksgiving, the CDC recommends that meals are hosted outdoors and that everyone wears masks whenever possible.

But Thanksgiving is expected to be an event with far too many infections this year, as almost 40% of Americans say they plan to host ten or more people for their holiday meal. Many Americans still believe the pandemic is a “hoax,” despite the growing number of infections and deaths with each passing day.

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The White House Coronavirus Task Force hosted its first public press conference since July on Thursday but Vice President Mike Pence refused to answer any questions. Without a coordinated national response to the worsening pandemic, individual states are doing their best to limit the spread of covid-19 through piecemeal actions, many of which aren’t grounded in solid science. As just one example, some states have instituted limits on how late bars can stay open, as though the virus is only spreading after 10 p.m. Needless to say, experts warn a curfew for businesses is one of the most nonsensical actions a state can make. Indoor dining of all kinds simply needs to be shut down.

California announced a new curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for all “nonessential” workers, Minnesota has closed indoor dining, and governors who were previously hesitant to introduce mask mandates are now getting on board. The governor of North Dakota, Doug Burgum, announced a new mask requirement late last week after his state saw the worst covid-19 infection rates per capita in the country. North Dakotans who don’t follow the mask rules face something close to a speeding ticket. The state also introduced a 10 p.m. curfew on restaurants and bars.

Meanwhile, China, the origin of the pandemic, has gotten its pandemic under control. The country recorded just 17 new infections yesterday in a country of 1.4 billion people. China, unlike the U.S., instituted a real lockdown of covid-19 hotspots and deployed mass testing when the virus reappeared in various cities.

The U.S. is expected to struggle immensely over the next two months as hospitals continue to become overloaded and some experts warn that Americans will soon be dying in ER waiting rooms. It didn’t have to be like this, but President Donald Trump decided that it was better to juice the stock market by pretending everything was fine rather than showing real leadership. At least Trump will soon be gone. But that will leave president-elect Joe Biden to pick up the pieces. That is, provided Trump’s attempted coup fails.

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Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog

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DISCUSSION

rvincent1960
Times up, time to leave!

Contrast that with Australia where Victoria, scene of the worst outbreak in the country (800 deaths and around 90% of Aus cases) has now been 21 days with no deaths and no cases, none, nill, zilch. They were in lockdown for almost 4 months.

Last week, South Australia went into lockdown after 17 cases suddenly sprung up, turns out today thanks to a worker who lied to the track and trace team it’s not as bad as first thought and they are planning to end the lockdown on Saturday.

As for the rest of the country, Western Australia, no cases, Queensland, no cases and well, you get the idea.

Thing is, if you take it seriously and actually do a lockdown properly, it works! Imagine that, science guys were right after all...