Texas surges past California to become state with most COVID-19 cases
s Americans go to the polls and wait in (hopefully) socially distant lines, COVID-19 continues to spread mostly unchecked. The Republican-led localities that wanted to believe major cities, frequently under Democratic leadership, were the only areas dealing with large outbreaks of the virus have been dealing with exponentially growing infection rates. States considered red are breaking daily records, while many blue states continue to try and keep their numbers manageable.
The Associated Press (AP) reports that over the weekend, Texas surpassed California to become the state with the highest number of coronavirus cases at 938,503. This number, of course, is most likely an undercount because testing in our country has continued to lag behind the spread of the virus since the beginning. And as AP explains, the coronavirus rate in Texas is far worse than California as California has 10 million more people living inside of its boundaries.
States like Texas, Florida, and Georgia's Republican leadership scoffed at early prevention measures like mask mandates and shutting down indoor businesses. Since the initial wave of the pandemic hit our country in February, March, and April, these states have seen exploding numbers. Over the last two weeks however, Texas has surged to a positivity rate of 10.72%. The national average is 6.6%.
More than 29 million people live in Texas. The state's cases per 100,000 population is 3,269.84. By comparison, California—home to more than 39 million people—has a rate of 2,371.56 cases per 100,000.
Three days ago, El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego tweeted: "The County is currently working on creating more space at our Medical Examiner's Office parking lot so that we can get a 3rd mobile morgue unit. If that doesn't put our situation into perspective I don't know what will." NPR reports that as of Nov. 3, it looks like El Paso has added a fourth "mobile morgue." This is because as COVID-19 cases surge, death rates go up. They go up because resources and access for people become stretched thin, and Americans pay for this lack of infrastructure and leadership.
Will this reality have any effect on the close races of Republican duds like Sen. John Cornyn of Texas? It remains to be seen, but he has clearly felt the shift in his state from complacency to anger.
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