unwarranted optimism?
July 5, 2020

Coronavirus cases across the United States continued to rise Saturday. Florida recorded 11,458 new daily infections, just shy of New York state's one-day record of 11,571 positive tests in April. Texas, where hospitals are becoming more and more strained, broke its own record for the sixth straight day with 8,258 cases. Health experts are worried cases will continue to rise after the July 4 weekend, but despite the trajectory, President Trump struck an optimistic tone in an Independence Day speech at the White House on Saturday.

The president once again focused heavily on the preservation of statues and monuments in his speech, echoing one from the previous day at Mount Rushmore. "We will never allow an angry mob to tear down our history, indoctrinate our children, or trample on our freedom," he said, vowing to defeat the "radical left." But when he did turn his attention to the coronavirus, he defended his administration's response, arguing "we've made a lot of progress" and "we've learned how to put out the flame."

He also doubled down on his belief that the spike in cases was tied to an increase in testing even though positivity rates are actually climbing in several states, and claimed that "99 percent" of cases are "totally harmless." While it's true the infection fatality rate may be much lower than has been recorded due to uncounted mild or asymptomatic cases, there have already been nearly 130,000 deaths since the pandemic began in the U.S., and there are indications severe cases can lead to long-term health issues in patients. Tim O'Donnell

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