The COVID-19 pandemic in the US has now claimed over 150,000 lives with deaths rising to record levels in California, Texas and Florida.
The US recorded 1,461 deaths on Wednesday, which is the highest one day increase since the end of May. This tally means that one person died about every minute of the day, according to Al Jazeera.
California, Florida and Texas who, combined, account for about one quarter of the US population , registered 185, 217 and 311 deaths respectively. COVID-19 deaths are rising at their fastest rate in the US for two months, with more than 10,000 people dying over the last 11 days alone.
However, face mask are still not mandatory in the US, despite President Trump changing his tone an advocating the use of masks. Representative Louie Gohmert, a Republican from Texas who refused to wear a mask, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday and concerns have now been raised that other member of the US Congress may have contracted the virus. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has now made face masks a requirement in the House of Representatives, while New Jersey lawmakers are pleading with people in the country’s second-worst affected state to wear masks.
“Coronavirus is more easily transmitted indoors. Crowded indoor house parties are not smart or safe,” Governor Phil Murphy wrote on Twitter.
I want to thank each of you for all you are doing, every day, to help us defeat #COVID19.
Please don’t let up.
Keep wearing your masks and practicing social distancing.
Don’t attend any crowded house parties.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) July 29, 2020
Elsewhere in the world, other nations are also reporting record daily cases, including Australia, Brazil, China, Ukraine, Japan and several others reporting a spike in cases over the last 24 hours. The second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak is upon us, but the US remains the hardest hit nation with more than 4.4 million of the 17 million cases around the world confirmed in the US, according to Johns Hopkins University.