President Donald Trump celebrated the decline in death rates in a series of weekend tweets.

“In a certain way, our tremendous Testing success gives the Fake News Media all they want, CASES. In the meantime, Deaths and the all important Mortality Rate goes down,” Trump wrote on Twitter.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany on Monday touted the lower mortality rates as a sign of success.

“This president takes Covid seriously, but we should note the mortality rate and how well we’re doing vis-à-vis to the rest of the world,” McEnany told Fox News.

The administration’s pushback came as American medical organizations urged the public to wear masks and physically distance as coronavirus cases spike.

“This is why as physicians, nurses, hospital and health system leaders, researchers and public health experts, we are urging the American public to take the simple steps we know will help stop the spread of the virus: wearing a face mask, maintaining physical distancing, and washing hands,” the letter read, signed by the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, and the American Nurses Association.

“We are not powerless in this public health crisis, and we can defeat it in the same way we defeated previous threats to public health—by allowing science and evidence to shape our decisions and inform our actions,” the organizations wrote.

Local officials in states with surging cases, meanwhile, scrambled to deal with the growing strain on hospitals.

In Florida’s Miami-Dade County, Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Monday signed an emergency order closing gyms, party venues, and ballrooms and only allowing restaurants to operate with takeout and delivery services.

Florida has recorded a total of 200,111 coronavirus cases and 3,832 deaths as of July 5, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

The city’s hospitals are nearly at capacity, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez told CNN on Monday.

“When we opened, people began to socialize as if the coronavirus didn’t exist, and I think they forgot how incredibly efficient the coronavirus is at propagating, and how incredibly efficient it is at spreading,” Suarez said.

Suarez called for a national mask mandate and said it was no different than requiring seatbelts to be worn. Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber echoed that sentiment and pleaded with the president to set an example by portraying mask-wearing as a show of strength.

“That would help so much because right now people are looking for a message that is the path of least resistance,” Gelber told CNN. “And when the president of the United States gives them a path of least resistance, they’re taking it, and it’s killing people right now.”

Politicians in Texas, another coronavirus hotspot, also pushed for mask mandates and disputed Trump’s claims about testing being largely responsible for the spike in cases.

“We’ve been increasing testing for a long time now, and one key indicator of the fact that this isn’t about testing is the fact that our positivity rate has skyrocketed,” San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg told MSNBC, adding that he supports a nationwide mask mandate. “What this is is a very fast, too fast opening of the Texas economy.”


Source link