Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, told NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that he does not believe the coronavirus pandemic in the United States will ease over the summer or in the fall.

Driving the news: The country on Saturday reported more than 33,000 new cases of the coronavirus — the highest total since May 1 — despite claims from Trump administration officials that concerns over a second wave of the virus are "overblown." Osterholm countered that he believes a second or third wave of coronavirus is unlikely because the first wave has yet to slow down.

What he's saying: "I'm actually of the mind right now — I think this is more like a forest fire. I don't think that this is going to slow down," he said. "Wherever there's wood to burn, this fire is going to burn, and right now we have a lot of susceptible people."

  • Osterholm added that he does not think the influenza model of multiple waves applies to the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.
  • "Right now, I don't see this slowing down through the summer or into the fall. I don't think we're going to see one, two and three waves. I think we're just going to see one very, very difficult forest fire of cases."

The big picture: As of Sunday afternoon, the country has reported more than 2.2 million coronavirus cases — the highest caseload in the world — and has suffered at least 119,744 deaths from the virus.

  • The European Union, which has a population of around 446 million, is seeing average new confirmed case numbers of around 4,000 per day, compared to about 24,000 for the U.S.
  • This is at least in part attributable to increased testing by the U.S., but there are surges in infections in several states that outpace the growth in testing. The U.S., which has a total population of around 328 million, has conducted around 26 million coronavirus tests since the beginning of the pandemic.
Screenshot: Meet the Press

Go deeper: Navarro says Trump's call for less coronavirus testing was "tongue-in-cheek"

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Updated 39 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 12,772,755 — Total deaths: 566,036 — Total recoveries — 7,030,749Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 3,269,531 — Total deaths: 134,898 — Total recoveries: 995,576 — Total tested: 39,553,395Map.
  3. Politics: Trump wears face mask in public for first time.
  4. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000.
  5. Public health: Trump's coronavirus testing czar says lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table" — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  6. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."
20 hours ago - Health

Louisiana governor issues face mask mandate

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards in April at the White House. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) issued an executive order on Saturday requiring all people ages 8 and older to wear face coverings in public to curb the spread of the coronavirus, according to The Advocate.

Why it matters: Louisiana is now the 25th state to issue some form of a mask mandate as case counts surge across the U.S.

Trump dons face mask during Walter Reed visit

Trump wearing a face mask in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on July 11. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump wore a face mask during his Saturday visit to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, according to AP.

Why it matters: This is the first known occasion the president has appeared publicly with a facial covering as recommended by health officials since the coronavirus pandemic began, AP writes.