Hospitals strained across the US as over 2 million Americans now infected with COVID each day

On Tuesday, Biobot Analytics published their latest data on COVID-19 wastewater levels in the United States, which scientists estimate now correlate to over 2 million infections per day, the second-highest figure of the entire pandemic.

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The current wave is now 20 percent higher than the peak seen in January 2023, after which the Biden administration and the World Health Organization (WHO) moved to arbitrarily end their respective COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) declarations in May 2023. These unscientific decisions led to the rapid dismantling of all vestiges of pandemic surveillance, including accurate data on testing, hospitalizations and deaths, leaving wastewater data as the sole reliable metric on viral transmission.

While Tuesday’s data indicate that the current wave of infections appears to be peaking, this will only be clear once next week’s data are released. Regardless, the US remains mired in a horrific wave of mass infection with a virus that is still hospitalizing and killing masses of people globally and causing untold long-term damage to the health of the population.

The current surge is being driven by the JN.1 variant, which rapidly became dominant in the US and across the globe over the last several weeks. Corresponding with these waves of infections, hospitalizations have also started to rise, with many health systems inundated in the US, Canada and Europe.

Weekly hospitalizations across the US jumped 20 percent for the week ending December 30, compared to the week prior, and have more than doubled since the first week in November. Much of this is affecting those 70 years or older, who are at greater risk of death from their infection.

In Ohio, which is currently experiencing its highest wastewater levels of any point in the pandemic, emergency room physician Dr. David Christopher bluntly noted, “It’s a total plague ward shitshow in most emergency departments right now. Don’t believe me? Then ask anyone you know who works in one. If they’re being honest, willing to talk and aren’t too exhausted, you’ll likely hear some horror stories. It hasn’t been this bad since December 2021.”

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