Arizona Is #1, Bahrain Is #4: COVID-19 Outbreak in the U.S. Sunbelt Is Worse Than in Any Country in the World

David Leonhardt, reporting for The New York Times:

There is no country in the world where confirmed coronavirus cases are growing as rapidly as they are in Arizona, Florida or South Carolina. The Sun Belt has become the global virus capital.

This chart ranks the countries with the most confirmed new cases over the past week, adjusted for population size, and treats each U.S. state as if it were a country. (Many states are larger in both landmass and population than some countries.)

The only countries with outbreaks as severe as those across the Sunbelt are Bahrain, Oman and Qatar — three Middle Eastern countries with large numbers of low-wage migrant workers who are not citizens. These workers often live in cramped quarters, with subpar social services, and many have contracted the virus.

Don’t tell me the problem here in the U.S. is not the south.

And it keeps getting worse:

As President Trump continued pressing for a broader reopening of the United States, the country set another record for new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, with more than 59,000 infections announced and some states’ final numbers still unreported, according to a New York Times database. It was the fifth national record set in nine days.

The previous record, 56,567, was reported on Friday.

The country reached a total of three million cases on Tuesday as the virus continued it a resurgence in the West and the South. At least five states — Missouri, Texas, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia — set single-day records for new infections on Wednesday.

As of Tuesday, there had been a 72 percent increase in the daily number of new cases over the past two weeks.

All in the last two weeks. Almost entirely in the south. And all of these states had months of warning from the northeast, west coast, and, you know, the rest of the entire world. Months of warning, and all we had to do was listen to the experts. Stay at home. Close all non-essential businesses. Forbid large gatherings. Wear masks. It fucking sucks but it’s not complicated. You just have to follow the advice of experts who know what the fuck they’re talking about.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020