Just a month ago, many Americans believed that the worst was over in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, over the last few weeks, major infection surges in some of the country’s most populous states have proved that we are just getting started. And, according to one of the nation’s top infectious disease experts, the potential result could be “apocalyptic.”
The three most populous states in the country—Texas, Florida, and California—home to more than 27.4% of the population are experiencing record breaking cases of the highly infectious and potentially deadly virus. CNN reports that Florida and Texas topped 5,000 new COVID-19 cases the prior day, while California recorded more than 7,000.
Experts are particularly concerned about the Lone Star state, specifically the Houston metro area. The city, which recently saw an explosion of coronavirus cases, is on track to become the new epicenter of the virus in the United States. Other cities— including Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio—are also experiencing major surges, which could result in an epic number of deaths, Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine, told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
Could Be “Apocalyptic”
“The big metro areas seem to be rising very quickly and some of the models are on the verge of being apocalyptic,” Dr. Hotez revealed, pointing to models he posted on his Twitter account demonstrating that Houston’s daily cases could quadruple by July 4, unless serious actions are taken.
“That is really worrisome and as those numbers rise, we’re seeing commensurate increases in the number of hospitalizations and ICU admissions,” he said. “You get to the point where you overwhelm ICUs and that’s when the mortality goes up.”
On Twitter, he also added that time is of the essence. “Unless we intervene by the weekend, we are potentially facing a humanitarian catastrophe over the summer,” he tweeted in one thread about the current situation in Texas.
More and More States Seeing Cases Rise
Texas, California, and Florida aren’t the only states where the coronavirus curve is on a disturbing trend upward. At least 26 states—Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming—experienced a spike of cases compared to the previous week, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
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