As we reported last night, the US saw another record (or near record, depending on who you ask) jump in newly confirmed COVID-19 cases yesterday thanks to new records in Florida and Texas, and record (or near-record) numbers across much of the south and west.
According to the Washington Post, the final count for Thursday’s increase was 39,327 new infections reported by state health departments across the country. That number surpasses WaPo’s total set a day earlier (though some sources put the number of cases reported Wednesday as high as 45k). Texas alone reported a record 5,996 new cases (along with another record high for coronavirus hospitalizations) last night and, as WaPo points out, the Lone Star State’s rolling average has increased by 340% since Memorial Day.
With the US facing an unexpectedly large pickup in new cases, the median age of those infected has fallen sharply, down from 65 to around 35 today. This has been widely cited as one reason why deaths have continued to plateau, or even trend lower, amid all the insanity.
For the first time in nearly two months, the White House coronavirus task force will hold a news briefing on Friday to address the situation. But unlike previous briefings, VP Mike Pence will lead, and President Trump isn’t expected to make an appearance.
Last night, Joe Biden just took the “politicization” of mask-wearing up a notch by declaring that, if he were president, he would mandate mask-wearing in public, even though masks are only recommended to be worn in indoor locations (especially those with poor ventilation), or in outdoor areas where social distancing simply isn’t possible.