Arizona is No. 1 global pandemic hotspot, New York Times reports

Posted at 6:46 AM, Jul 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-09 02:05:00-04

Over the last week, Arizona's explosion in coronavirus cases has made it the No. 1 global pandemic hot spot.

According to the New York Times, Arizona topped the list of states and countries with a higher rate of virus spread than any other state or country.

The newspaper's research, which ranks countries and states with the most new confirmed coronavirus cases over the past week -- adjusted for population -- lists Arizona No. 1, with about 3,300 cases per 1 million in population. Florida (2,700) and South Carolina (2,300) follow. Bahrain (2,200) is No. 4.

Officials from the Arizona governor's office refute the New York Times report, stating that these reports "lack context and are misleading and inaccurate."

They cite larger testing quantities, daily testing rates, and positivity rates as factors that show how Arizona's situation isn't as severe as the report makes it out to be.

Read the full statement from officials at Governor Ducey's office below.

"You may have seen a tweet from the New York Times this morning comparing COVID cases in Arizona to other states and countries. There is no question that Arizona is experiencing a significant number of COVID cases but reports that we are the worst in the world lack context and are misleading and inaccurate.

Testing - if you aren't testing, it doesn't mean you have fewer cases, just that you know less about them.

For example, AZ has done 8,615 test per 100K. Brazil has done 1,435. Arizona has been working hard to increase testing, with more on the way.

Daily Testing - In fact, Brazil is currently testing 0.025 per100k people per day. By contrast, yesterday, Arizona reported 12,212 tests (and this was far from our highest day in the past week) which works out to 167 tests per 100K on that one day alone.

Positivity rate - both Brazil (33%) and Peru (39.9%) have a higher positivity rate than Arizona. This, in combination with their much lower testing, suggests the outbreaks in these places are much larger than is being reported. Likewise, New York's positivity rate during its peak was more than double what AZ is seeing now.

None of this is to diminish the situation in Arizona - it is serious and the State is working to address it, but this reporting is misleading at best."