Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday that the reason the U.S. is doing "so poorly" with the coronavirus compared to Europe is because many states ignored federal reopening guidelines and let their guard down "imagining this was just a New York problem."

Why it matters: The U.S. leads the world with over 3.7 million confirmed cases and 140,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. While Europe was initially hit hard by the pandemic, most countries have successfully flattened their infection curve and lifted lockdown restrictions.

What he's saying: "We basically did a good job in New York and New Jersey and Connecticut with that terrible crisis that happened and took many lives. ... And basically steps were put in place and if you look to see what's happening now in those areas, they came down very close to zero," Collins said.

  • "But meanwhile, the rest of the country, perhaps imagining this was just a New York problem, kind of went about their business, didn't really pay that much attention to CDC's recommendations about the phases necessary to open up safely, and jumped over some of those hoops."
  • "And people started congregating and not wearing masks and feeling like it's over and maybe summer, it will all go away. And now here we are not only with 70,000 new cases almost every day, but from my perspective also, a quite concerning number of hospitalizations."

The bottom line: Collins insisted that Americans are fully capable of "rising to a crisis" and said that he does not consider masks to be "optional" when it comes to people protecting themselves and those around them.

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Updated 2 hours ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

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

While several novel coronavirus vaccines are in late-stage trials, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned on Monday: "There is no silver bullet at the moment, and there might never be."

What he's saying: "For now, stopping outbreaks comes down the the basis of public health and disease control," Tedros said. Testing, isolating and treating patients and tracing and quarantining their contacts."

Jul 28, 2020 - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: The rise of coronavirus social bubbles

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: 1,076 U.S. adults were surveyed with ±3.1% margin of error; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Nearly half of Americans say they've established social "bubbles" of people they can trust to follow the rules for minimizing the risk of spreading the coronavirus, according to the latest installment of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Between the lines: The trend isn't particularly partisan. It is most common in the suburbs and among women, older adults and people with college educations.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 18,288,573 — Total deaths: 693,805 — Total recoveries — 10,916,907Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 4,713,562 — Total deaths: 155,469 — Total recoveries: 1,513,446 — Total tests: 57,543,852Map.
  3. Education — Fauci: Schools can reopen with safeguards, but those in virus hot spots should remain closed
  4. Politics: White House will require staff to undergo randomized coronavirus testing — Pelosi says Birx "enabled" Trump on misinformation.
  5. Sports: 13 members of St. Louis Cardinals test positive, prompting MLB to cancel Tigers series — Former FDA chief says MLB outbreaks should be warning sign for schools.
  6. 1 🎥 thing: "Tenet" may be the first major film to get a global pandemic release.