Adm. Brett Giroir, the Health and Human Services official overseeing the nation's coronavirus testing efforts, told Congress Thursday that the U.S. is "not flattening the curve right now," and that the nationwide surge in new cases is not simply a result of more testing.

Why it matters: President Trump said at a press conference just hours earlier that the U.S. is getting the coronavirus "under control." He and other top members of his administration have sought to downplay the growing surge in infections as largely a product of increased testing.

The big picture:The number of coronavirus cases increased in nearly every state over the last week.

  • Florida reported 10,109 new cases on Thursday, the state's highest single-day increase yet.
  • Anthony Fauci testified earlier this week that he would "not be surprised" if the U.S. begins reporting as many as 100,000 new coronavirus cases per day.

What they're saying: "There is no question that the more testing you get, the more you will uncover, but we do believe this is a real increase in cases because of the percent positivities are going up. So this is real increases in cases," Giroir said.

  • Asked how many states met the White House's recommendation for 14 days of declining cases before reopening, Giroir said: "We have seen states reopen quickly and have had no cases. We've seen states not reopen and have a lot of cases."
  • "We really do believe the current outbreak is primarily due to under 35s with a lot of gatherings, not appropriate protection like masks. Yes, it’s important to reopen and we believe in the guidelines, but I think the weight of the evidence is guidelines are not -- you know the personal responsibility is really a key right now."

What to watch: Giroir said on a call with reporters Wednesday that the Department of Health and Human Services is looking to partner with several states, including Texas, Florida and Louisiana, to test in mid-size communities to identify cases in younger populations that may be unknowingly be spreading COVID-19.

  • He also expressed concern that the July 4 holiday weekend could worsen already troubled cities and cause new outbreaks for others.

Go deeper: U.S. coronavirus hotspots failed to build up public health tools

Go deeper

Aug 10, 2020 - Health

How to do smarter coronavirus testing

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

With testing once again a huge vulnerability to America’s coronavirus response, public health officials are calling for a revamped strategy that features the use of more tests, even if they're imperfect.

Why it matters: The system is overwhelmed by the demand for tests, and yet prolific testing is key to identifying asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic coronavirus cases. Experts say the solution is smarter testing — which doesn't require perfect accuracy.

Updated 11 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 20 million worldwide on Monday evening, Johns Hopkins data shows.

The big picture: World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference as the world approached the milestone that 750,000 deaths were set to be recorded this week. "Every life lost matters," he said. "But I want to be clear: there are green shoots of hope and... it's never too late to turn the outbreak around."

Aug 9, 2020 - Health

Ex-FDA head: U.S. will "definitely" see 200,000 to 300,000 virus deaths in 2020

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on CBS News' "Face the Nation" that the coronavirus death toll in the U.S. will be "definitely" somewhere between 200,000 and 300,000 by the end of 2020.

Why it matters: "Whether we're closer to 200,000 or closer to 300,000 depends on what we do now and how it evolves," Gottlieb warned on Sunday as the U.S. surpassed five million confirmed coronavirus cases.