• The latest coronavirus update for North Dakota shows that it has the dubious distinction of being the deadliest state right now in the US in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • North Dakota has recorded 1.4 coronavirus-related deaths per 100,000 people over the latest seven days, according to CDC data.
  • This comes as the US just finished a brutal, record-setting month of October in terms of new coronavirus cases.

The latest country-wide coronavirus update for the US suggests that the winter surge everyone had been worried about may finally be here. The newest data, according to the Covid Tracking Project, shows that hospitalizations were ticking upward in 47 states in October, and almost 50,000 people across the US are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 as of Sunday. Moreover, the US saw its highest number of new coronavirus cases to date on Friday, with more than 99,000 recorded.

What’s worse is that there doesn’t really seem to be anywhere to hide from the pandemic in the US. You might think a state with a more spread-out or rural population might be better-situated to ride out the pandemic, for example, but that’s not necessarily the case. Just look at North Dakota, which has a comparatively sparse population when ranked alongside other states in the country (a little more than 762,000, according to 2019 data). And yet, CDC statistics show that it’s the deadliest state in the US right now in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic — it’s recorded 1.4 deaths per 100,000 people over the last seven days.

In terms of coronavirus cases, the data tells a similar story. According to the CDC, North Dakota has seen 137.7 cases per 100,000 people over the last seven days. All this, even though North Dakota is ranked 48th in the US by population.

Just a few days ago, along these same lines, White House health advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci lamented that the US could hardly be in a worse position going into the colder winter months. Fauci told The Washington Post on Friday. “We’re in for a whole lot of hurt,” he said. “It’s not a good situation. All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home, indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.”

With the pandemic worsening, and especially hammering states like North Dakota (the COVID-19 response from which was completely inadequate, but that’s another story), now President Trump and his rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, are arguing about Dr. Fauci on the campaign trail.

Trump hinted to a Miami-area crowd late Sunday that he might fire Fauci after the election. Meanwhile, here’s Joe Biden’s response from a rally of his own on the day before the 2020 presidential election:

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.