Coronavirus Live Updates: Florida Reports More Than 8,900 New Daily Cases

Dr. Birx said that rising positive test rates in states across the South, including in Texas, Arizona, Florida and Mississippi, were causing significant concern among health officials, and that they had created an “alert system” to track them.She singled out Texas as a state where higher positive test rates indicated a more complicated kind of spread that could not be explained by higher rates of testing. Texas, she said, was part of a group of states with test positive rates above 10 percent, a threshold the White House has used to identify areas of particular concern.“Throughout May, after opening, their test positivity continued to decline as their testing increased. It was in the last two and a half weeks that we saw this inflection of rising test positivity along with rising testing,” she said of Texas, displaying slides on television monitors in an auditorium at the Department of Health and Human Services.Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence have explained recent spikes in cases as evidence of more testing, without acknowledging higher positive test rates and hospitalizations across the South.Communities with increasing cases but declining positive test rates, Dr. Birx said on Friday, were examples of greater asymptomatic spread of the virus, typically among people under the age of 40.Despite the staggering numbers, Mr. Trump — who did not attend Friday’s session — has been trying to declare the pandemic “over.” Around midnight Friday, he wrote on Twitter, “Our Economy is roaring back and will NOT be shut down. ‘Embers’ or flare ups will be put out, as necessary!”Half of new cases are affecting Americans younger than 35, which Mr. Pence described as “good news,” because younger Americans are less likely to fall seriously ill. However, Dr. Fauci has noted that the nation must not be sanguine about infections in young people, because some do suffer serious effects.

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