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Former Homeland Security adviser Thomas Bossert. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Former President Trump Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert sounded the alarm on the rapid spike in the spread of the coronavirus in a series of tweets Sunday, saying that "Masks are important, but not enough."

Why it matters: It's a different tone than much of the Trump administration, as cases are spiking in a number of states around the country. Trump baselessly claimed during his Independence Day remarks that 99% of coronavirus cases "are totally harmless."

What he's saying: Bossert shared data on the rising number of new cases in some states...

  • "TX: Cases as of 7/4 (191.8K); cases as of 6/20 (107.7K). Increase of 84K over 2 weeks. Assuming case ascertainment of 20%, true number of cases = 416K. Population of TX = 29M, so roughly 1.4% of population is currently infectious."
  • "AZ: Cases as of 7/4 (94.6K); cases as of 6/20 (49.8K). Increase of 44.8K over 2 weeks. Assuming case ascertainment of 20%, true number of cases = 220K. Population of AZ = 7.3M, so roughly 3% of population is currently infectious."
  • "CA: Cases as of 7/4 (254.7K); cases as of 6/20 (169.3K). Increase of 85.4K over 2 weeks. Assuming case ascertainment of 20%, true number of cases = 427K. Population of CA = 40M, so roughly 1% of population is currently infectious."
  • "GA: Cases as of 7/4 (93.3K); cases as of 6/20 (63.8K). Increase of 30K over 2 weeks. Assuming case ascertainment of 20%, true number of cases = 150K. Population of GA = 10.6M, so roughly 1.4% of population is currently infectious."

The bottom line: He then shared a study by the Imperial College of London that suggests that wearing masks should be accompanied by other preventative measures to stop the spread of the virus. "Masks are important, but not enough," he wrote.

  • "What are the hundreds of thousands of infectious people in these states doing right now? Isolating? Are their family members quarantining themselves? How many days does it take for them to notify people with whom they have been in close contact? Are they even notifying others?"

Go deeper

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Nursing homes are still getting pummeledU.S. could hit herd immunity by end of summer 2021 if Americans embrace virus vaccines, Fauci says.
  2. Politics: Pelosi, Schumer call on McConnell to adopt bipartisan $900B stimulus framework.
  3. World: U.K. clears Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for mass rollout — Putin says Russia will begin large-scale vaccination next week.
  4. Business: Investors are finally starting to take their money out of safe-haven Treasuries.
  5. Sports: The end of COVID’s grip on sports may be in sight.
47 mins ago - World

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai detained on fraud charge

An activist holds a placard highlighting China's Tiananmen Square massacre as pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrives at West Kowloon Magistrates' Court in Hong Kong in November. Photo: Isaac Wong/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai is being detained until an April court hearing after the pro-democracy supporter was charged Thursday with fraud, per his Apple Daily news outlet.

Why it matters: The 72-year-old's arrest and denial of bail is another blow for the pro-democracy movement in the former British colony amid concerns about a fresh crackdown on activists.

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

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