Amid rising COVID-19 cases, WH Task Force is returning to Podium

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's infectious disease expert, talks about coronavirus at the briefing Friday. (AP)

WASHINGTON – As new cases of coronavirus waves, the White House coronavirus task force, led by Vice President Pence, held its first briefing in nearly two months, recognizing that the government cannot ignore the alarming increases.

President Trump did not lead the task force briefing as he had done in previous briefings.

Pence assured that the US is “in a much better place” than two months ago. He said the country now has more medical supplies, a smaller proportion of patients are hospitalized, and deaths are much lower than in the spring.

“As the President has made clear, we want to open up our economy, we want to move America forward, even if we continue to take the necessary measures to save lives and protect the American people,” said the Vice President.

The vice president also acknowledged the younger median age of the new cases and urged residents to do more to take precautions.

“Listen to and respect the guidelines of your state and local authorities,” said Pence. “Recognize that this is different from two months ago, both in our ability to respond and in the nature of those infected, and that younger Americans have a special responsibility to ensure that they do not bring the corona virus to an environment where they would expose it to the vulnerable. ”

The number of newly confirmed infections was delivered by Friday Johns Hopkins University, hit 40,000. That eclipsed the previous high of 36,400, set on April 24, during one of the deadliest stages of the crisis. Newly reported cases per day have increased by an average of about 60 percent in the past two weeks, according to an analysis by Associated Press.

Although the increase in reported cases is believed to reflect partially extensive tests, experts say there is sufficient evidence that the virus is making a comeback, including rising deaths and hospitalizations in parts of the country and higher rates of tests that return positive for the virus.

At the briefing of the task force, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, urged people to take responsibility for others: “A risk to you is not alone in itself. Because if you get infected, you are, innocently or unintentionally, part of propagating the process of a pandemic. Chances are, if you get infected, you infect someone else. ‘

The number of deaths from the coronavirus in the US has fallen to about 600 a day, compared to about 2,200 in mid-April. Some experts doubt that deaths will return to that level, due to advances in treatment and prevention, and because younger adults are more likely to survive than older people.