- President Trump on Monday insisted that the number of coronavirus cases is declining “all throughout the country.”
- But data from the White House coronavirus task force obtained by NBC News shows many places where new cases in the past week increased sharply.
- The data shows new cases increasing between 100% and 1,000% in the space of a week in parts of Tennessee, Iowa, Kentucky, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Georgia.
- It shows numbers rising more sharply outside the coastal areas where the disease first began to spread in the US.
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Data from the White House coronavirus task force obtained by NBC News shows the number of coronavirus cases sharply increasing in several areas of the US, contradicting Trump’s claim on Monday that the number of cases is declining “all throughout the country.”
The chart was produced for the task force of top public health experts and administration officials on May 7 and not publicly released.
An image published by NBC shows the information marked “for official use only,” which means the information is not meant to be public, but is also not formally classified.
It shows the number of new cases increasing between 100% and 1,000% in the space of a week in 10 counties in Tennessee, Iowa, Kentucky, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Georgia.
Under the heading “places to watch,” the data also shows the number of new cases increasing by 64% to 186% in 10 other counties in Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, Tennessee, Louisiana and Ohio.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report.
Here is an image of the data, posted on Twitter by NBC reporter Cyrus Farivar.
— Cyrus Farivar (@cfarivar) May 11, 2020
According to official figures, the US is suffering the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world, with 80,000 deaths recorded and at least 1.3 million infections in total.
But in recent weeks there has been a steady decline in the number of daily new cases overall, with 18,000 new infections recorded on May 11, down from a peak of nearly 39,000 on April 24, according to data from Worldometer.
NBC News notes that several of the states in the chart have not imposed stay-at-home orders.
Trump has seized on the positive data to push for the economy to reopen, with most states having made plans to partially lift lockdown measures amid the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
On Monday, the president in a tweet followed up on his claim in an earlier press conference that the number of cases was falling across the US, seeming to acknowledge that in some places cases are increasing.
“Coronavirus numbers are looking much better,” he wrote, “going down almost everywhere.”