The push by Republican governors whose states are in danger of being overrun by a new wave of infections and hospitalizations reflects the disconnect between politicians who are fighting the virus’ real effects on the ground and Trump’s reelection campaign, which is trying to project optimism that the country is turning the corner on infections, even though the statistics don’t back him up.
Hospitals in Utah and Wisconsin are at or near capacity, while facilities in Texas and Indiana battle medical staff shortages. Nationally, the number of people hospitalized with Covid-19 has climbed 20 percent in the two weeks since Trump left Walter Reed National Military Medical Center after contracting the virus. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Tuesday that the pandemic has resulted in 299,000 excess deaths from late January to Oct. 3 — a toll members of Trump’s own administration say is sure to sharply increase.
“We’re going straight up again with the number of cases happening each day,” NIH Director Francis Collins warned in an NPR interview Tuesday. “Hospitalizations are up … and I’m afraid, inevitably, that is going to result in an increase in deaths, because that’s what happens every time with about a two- or three-week delay.”