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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Data: The Covid Tracking Project; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Coronavirus cases in the U.S. are going down — but that’s mainly because coronavirus cases in the New York area are going down.

Why it matters: The country’s hardest-hit region is getting better, and while that’s obviously a good thing, it shouldn’t provide a false sense of security for other regions, many of which are seeing new cases rise sharply.

The big picture: Take New York and New Jersey out of the picture, and the U.S.’ coronavirus cases aren’t going down. They’re holding steady, or slightly increasing.

  • The large number of cases in the New York region drove up the national number of cases in the early going, and so it’s no surprise that big decreases in and around New York would also drive nationwide decreases.

Yes, but: The virus is everywhere now. Improvement in New York doesn’t ensure the outbreak is under control anywhere else.

  • Several populated states — including Texas, Arizona and Oregon — that are seeing their outbreaks get worse.

The bottom line: The nationwide trend of declining cases, that's mainly a reflection of the New York region’s trend, shouldn’t provide a false sense of security elsewhere.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

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

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Sep 20, 2020 - Health

Trump's health secretary asserts control over all new rules

HHS Secretary Alex Azar and President Donald Trump. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar wrote a memo this week giving him authority over all new rules and banning any of the health agencies, including the FDA, from signing any new rules "regarding the nation’s foods, medicines, medical devices and other products," the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The story further underscores reporting that health and scientific agencies are undergoing a deep politicization as the Trump administration races to develop a coronavirus vaccine, as Axios' Caitlin Owens has reported. Peter Lurie, a former associate commissioner of the FDA, told the Times that the Azar memo amounted to a "power grab."

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