The United States recorded nearly 37,000 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, setting a new record for a single-day increase over two months since the pandemic began.
The 36,880 new cases were recorded primarily in the southern and western parts of the country, while the Northeast — including New York and New Jersey, which initially suffered the highest numbers of deaths in the country — has seen declining cases. Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, and South Carolina all reported their highest single-day totals on Wednesday, and 26 states have seen their caseloads increase over the past week.
“To state the obvious, COVID-19 is now spreading at an unacceptable rate in Texas, and it must be corralled,” Texas governor Greg Abbott said at a news briefing earlier this week.
Cases are up 77 percent in Arizona and 75 percent in Michigan, while California has seen a 47 percent increase despite weeks of flattening the curve.
The new daily record passes that of 36,739 cases set on April 24, and marks the latest warning in a troubling reversal after cases appeared to be on a nationwide downward trajectory, as nationwide cases are now up 30 percent in June. While governors like Ron DeSantis of Florida and Mike Parson of Missouri have said they will not halt their phased reopenings, North Carolina governor Roy Copper decided to delay his state’s phase-three opening by at least three weeks.
But the White House remains optimistic, and Vice President Mike Pence told Republican senators during a closed-door lunch Wednesday that there are “encouraging signs,” including a low mortality rate due to more testing and younger and healthier people accounting for a greater share of the testing population.