A worker helps check in people at a coronavirus testing center in Los Angeles. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

As most of the world's wealthy countries resume normal life with their coronavirus outbreaks under control, the U.S. is facing the same catastrophic problems that defined its early experience.

Why it matters: The longer the pandemic rages on, the more human lives it costs and economic devastation it causes.

The state of play: Testing is a problem again. Some hard-hit cities are cutting back on who can be tested because of overwhelming demand, NYT reports. Supply shortages and laboratory backlogs are once again contributing to the problem.

  • Personal protective equipment is running low again, AP reports, which puts health care workers at risk of being infected by the virus.
  • Hospitalizations are spiking, once again raising the possibility that the health system could become overwhelmed.

The bottom line: The U.S. has built up its public health infrastructure since the spring, but not enough. And these measures, even when fully functional, aren't designed to counteract uncontrolled spread — which is what several states are experiencing.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
Oct 16, 2020 - Health

How colleges have learned to combat the coronavirus

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Some colleges are creating a blueprint for how to safely remain open during the coronavirus pandemic, relying heavily on regular testing and doing what they can to curb parties and other large gatherings.

Why it matters: College reopenings were tied to several big outbreaks, and young adults will likely be among the last to receive a coronavirus vaccine. So colleges and students need figure out how to live amid the virus.

Trump baselessly accuses Fauci of being a "Democrat"

President Trump again criticized Anthony Fauci, the government's top infectious disease expert, during a campaign rally in North Carolina on Thursday, claiming without evidence that the NIAID director is "a Democrat," and accusing him of downplaying the coronavirus.

Why it matters: Since the onset of the pandemic, Trump has repeatedly undermined Fauci, who has five decades of public service, describes himself as apolitical and is not registered with either party. In public statements and tweets, Trump has accused Fauci of blundering the government's response to the virus.

Oct 15, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Harris pauses campaign travel after aide tests positive for coronavirus

Photo: Erin Schaff/Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) will pause her travel through Sunday after her communications director tested positive for the coronavirus, the Biden campaign announced Thursday.

The state of play: The campaign said that the vice presidential nominee, who tested negative for the virus on Wednesday, was "not in close contact" with the aide, Liz Allen, under CDC guidelines. She will still pause her travel "out of an abundance of caution and in line with [the] campaign's commitment to the highest levels of precaution," the campaign said.

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