Last week, in the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal, Vice President Mike Pence made a highly misleading claim: There is no “second wave” of coronavirus in the United States, he wrote, and the Trump administration is winning the war against “the invisible enemy.”
Epidemiologists mostly agree on the first point—although not for the reason that Pence gave.
“He was completely right that we’re not in the second wave,” says Ashish Jha, Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. “This is not a second wave, because we’re still in the first wave.”
At the national level, the number of new cases seemed to peak in April and decreased throughout May. But in fact, much of the decline was driven by the New York metropolitan area, previously the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak. In states that neglected social-distancing guidelines, the coronavirus continued to spread.
Now, confirmed cases of COVID-19 are rising in 26 states, weeks after parts of the country began to…