US reports record 60,000 new coronavirus case in one day

8 July 2020, 17:48

Donald Trump has repeated downplayed the severity of the virus
Donald Trump has repeated downplayed the severity of the virus. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

The US has reported 60,000 new coronavirus cases in one day - the biggest daily increase any country has seen.

The new record was set on Tuesday, when 60,021 new cases were confirmed.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed the soaring cases are due to an increase of testing, but figures show the percentage of people testing positive is climbing.

He was keen to downplay the severity of the outbreak when the first cases were detected on 21 January.

It took 99 days for one million cases to be confirmed, and then another 43 to hit double that.

But it has now taken only 28 days to hit 3 million as the death toll soars above 130,000.

In recent days, the President has celebrated his self-proclaimed success in fighting the disease, boasting the deaths from the deadly virus were "down ten-fold".

But US health officials say the real number of infections is probably 10 times higher, or close to 10 per cent of the population.

The numbers have been surging in recent weeks amid a rapid expansion in testing. But experts say the rise cannot be explained as just the result of more testing.

They say the outbreak is worsening, as shown by such warning signs as an increase in the percentage of tests coming back positive for the virus.

Some states are also reporting they are running out of intensive care beds.

In Florida, 56 hospitals reported reaching capacity.

But many states have continued to relax their lockdown rules, albeit with social distancing and facial coverings being mandatory.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said yesterday it was a “false narrative to take comfort in a lower rate of death" and urged people to refrain from risky behaviour.

He added: "By allowing yourself to get infected because of risky behavior, you are part of the propagation of the outbreak.

“There are so many other things that are very dangerous and bad about this virus. Don’t get yourself into false complacency.”