U.S. surpasses infection total from 2020; Fauci says packing football stadiums isn’t ‘smart’: COVID-19 updates

On the same day the U.S. reached 650,000 COVID-19 deaths — the world’s highest reported total — the country also registered more cases in 2021 than the previous year.

The U.S. had logged nearly 20,146,000 coronavirus cases this year by 7:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, surpassing the 2020 total of 20,100,249, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The latter figure comes with a couple of caveats: No major outbreaks were detected in the U.S. until March 2020, and testing for the virus was quite limited at that time and for the first several weeks of the pandemic. Therefore, the true number of infections in 2020 will never be known.

Regardless, the emergence of the delta variant has turbocharged a pandemic that appeared to be waning in the U.S. by early summer, and now threatens to continue raging for months, especially now that students are back in school for in-person learning.


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South Dakota governor calls the Sturgis rally with hundreds of thousands of attendees ‘a fantastic event’ as COVID-19 cases spike

Motorcycles seen on the streets of Sturgis, South Dakota on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021 as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally began
Motorcycles fill the streets of Sturgis, S.D on August 6, 2021 as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally began Stephen Groves/AP
  • South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem called the 10-day Sturgis Motorcycle Rally “a fantastic event.”

  • The rally, which ends Sunday, is expected to attract 700,000 attendees.

  • Health officials like Dr. Anthony Fauci are concerned the Sturgis rally will make new cases counts spike even higher.

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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem praised the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally that attracted hundreds of thousands of people, calling it “a fantastic event” as the Delta variant spreads across the state.

“I think it’s interesting that this side, this political party, the Democrats, who embrace getting abortion on demand, are accusing us of embracing death when we’re just allowing people to make personal choices and have personal responsibility over when they want to assemble, when they want to gather and

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Fauci says he’s ‘concerned’ about a potential uptick in COVID-19 cases from Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which draws thousands of bikers

anthony fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top disease expert, on Sunday raised concerns about a potential rise in COVID-19 cases following the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota.

“I’m very concerned that we are going to see another surge related to that rally,” Fauci said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “To me, it’s understandable that people want to do the kind of things they want to do. They want their freedom to do that.”

An estimated 700,000 bikers are expected to attend the annual 10-day Sturgis Motorcycle Rally amid the spread of the Delta variant. A city of Sturgis spokesperson told The Washington Post that face masks are not mandated for the event.

The state of South Dakota has been grappling with COVID-19, as officials reported that cases jumped 68% last week. Last summer, researchers linked over 260,000 coronavirus cases to the two-week event.

“But there comes a time

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Sturgis Motorcycle Rally kicks off amid rising COVID-19 cases

South Dakota’s annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally kicked off Friday, with at least 700,000 people expected to descend on the state during the 10-day rendezvous for bikers and motorcyclists, AP reports.

Flashback: Hundreds of rallygoers were infected last year at Sturgis, accounting for 19% of all new cases in the U.S. for a monthlong period, Axios’ Caitlin Owens reports.

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The big picture: This year’s event comes as COVID-19 cases in South Dakota rise and vaccinations remain low — about 46% of adults who live in the county that hosts Sturgis are fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Cases in South Dakota increased by 68% during the week of July 25-31 compared to the prior seven-day period, per the state’s Department of Health.

  • On Friday, crowds of

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