The pandemic was sweeping across the Kansas prairie as the United States recorded its 8 millionth case of Covid-19.
After months of watching as the rest of country struggled to stop the spread of the coronavirus, new Covid-19 cases in the Sunflower State have gone in recent weeks from a trickle to a torrent with 5,203 reported just in the last seven days, the latest NBC News figures showed Thursday.
During that same time period, 115 deaths due to Covid-19 were recorded and Wednesday, the state recorded a single-day record of 67 fatalities, according to the newest numbers.
“The numbers are getting worse,” Dr. Lee Norman, the top administrator at the state’s Department of Health, said Wednesday at a press conference in the Statehouse.
Kansas is one of several Midwestern states that have seen a dramatic increase in new coronavirus cases of late, one that public health experts blame on a combination of cooling weather and a growing reluctance to adhere to restrictions meant to stop the spread of the virus.
“Whether we’re in a second wave, or the second crest of the first, our current situation is critical, especially outside of the well-resourced metro areas,” Dave Dillon, spokesman for the Missouri Hospital Association, told the St Louis Post-Dispatch.
But compared to California and Texas, the states with the most cases, Kansas’ numbers are small.
The 69,155 confirmed cases Kansas has recorded since the start of the pandemic is not much more than the 59,603 cases recorded in the United States on Wednesday. And as the number of Covid-19 cases in the country hit 8 million, Kansas’ share amounts to less than 1 percent of the total.
But the death toll in Kansas last week accounts for about 14 percent of the total 838 fatalities the state has recorded since the coronavirus crisis started.
In other coronavirus news:
- In yet another sign that the recovery of the U.S. economy is stalling, weekly initial jobless claims climbed to 898,000 last week, the Department of Labor reported. That disappointing figure was much higher than analyst expectations of 830,000.
- Herd immunity, which President Donald Trump has been pushing as a way to stop the pandemic, is a “dangerous fallacy unsupported by the scientific evidence,” dozens of scientists from around the world declared in The Lancet, a leading medical journal.
- Democratic vice-presidential candidate Kamala Harris cancelled her travel plans after two people involved in the campaign tested positive. Harris herself has tested negative, as has presidential candidate Joe Biden.
- Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse, one of the few Republican senators who have dared to publicly criticize Trump, said in a private call with constituents that the president’s pandemic leadership has not been “reasonable or responsible or right,” The Washington…