It’s been a frequent Trump administration speaking level on the current spike in COVID-19 infections: Don’t fear, solely a small sliver of U.S. counties is at larger threat.
In providing this reassurance, Vice President Mike Pence and Well being and Human Providers Secretary Alex Azar have mentioned that solely three per cent or four per cent of counties within the nation are seeing a surge in circumstances. Give attention to the “encouraging indicators,” Pence instructed senators final week.
However they and different administration officers are skirting a key truth: Greater than 20 per cent of People stay in these comparatively few counties.
The White Home has repeatedly cited the low county tally, and Pence reaffirmed the purpose in a televised interview Sunday. He argued that states, not the federal authorities, ought to take the lead with reopening pointers as a result of virus outbreaks are occurring in about “four per cent of all of the counties on this nation.”
Azar asserted Friday solely three per cent of counties symbolize “scorching spots” which are “very regarding.”
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The emphasis on a share of counties makes for a deceptive portrayal of the virus risk.
The White Home offered The Related Press with the total record of U.S. counties that reported will increase in COVID-19 circumstances as of Friday. It confirmed 137 of the three,142 counties within the U.S. that had been beneath the next alert — certainly, about four per cent on the time.
Coronavirus: Pence says ‘it’s factor’ youthful People make up ‘roughly half’ of latest circumstances
However measured by inhabitants, these counties symbolize a vastly larger share — over 1 in 5 folks within the U.S.
Altogether there are 68.three million folks residing in these 137 counties, whereas there’s a total U.S. population of 322.9 million. Which means 21.1% of U.S. residents truly stay in a virus “scorching spot.”
In current weeks, the U.S. has entered a harmful new part of the coronavirus with large Solar Belt states exhibiting 1000’s of latest circumstances a day. Texas and Florida reversed course on elements of their reopening and clamped down on bars final week because the day by day variety of confirmed infections within the U.S. surged to all-time highs.
Talking concerning the coronavirus risk Friday, White Home coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx defined that counties massive and small are being tracked by the White Home job pressure, and that anybody residing in a virus scorching spot ought to take the mandatory precautions, together with social distancing and sporting a masks.
Citing will increase significantly within the under-40 age group, Birx confused that rather more testing is required as a result of that’s the age group almost definitely to be contaminated with out exhibiting signs and to be “spreading the virus unbeknownst to them.”
The inhabitants figures, each county degree and nationwide, come from the Census Bureau’s American Neighborhood Survey five-year estimates for 2018, the newest accessible.
© 2020 The Canadian Press