The US saw its second lowest number of daily coronavirus deaths since July on Sunday, with just 378 fatalities - but new cases are still trending upward at an alarming rate in at least 11 states.
Wisconsin, for example, had an average 1,435 new coronavirus cases a day as of Sunday - 78 percent more than the daily average as of the prior Sunday, September 6.
Similarly steep increases in new cases are occurring in Alaska, North Dakota, Maine, Wyoming, Utah, Missouri, Delaware, Arkansas, Oklahoma and South Carolina, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Nationwide, 34,450 new cases of coronavirus were diagnosed in the US on Sunday.
It comes after thousands of Trump supporters flocked to the President's indoor campaign rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, despite a statewide mandate against gatherings of 50 or more people.
Trump said that he did not believe that the order against mass gatherings indoors applied to his campaign rally, and last week claimed that the US is 'rounding the corner' of the outbreak.
Wisconsin hit a new record number of cases on Sunday, and is now averaging 1,435 a day, according to the COVID Tracing Project
Even as children return to school and restaurants and bars reopen in once hard-hit states like New York and Florida, top US infectious disease expert Dr Anthony Fauci said he 'disagreed' with President's optimistic assessment, calling data on infections and deaths 'disturbing.'
And modelers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) now predict that the US coronavirus death toll will reach 415,000 by January 1. If restrictions to slow the spread are eased, fatalities could climb to 600,000.
'When we look ahead into the winter with seasonality kicking in, people becoming clearly less vigilant, you know mask use is down, mobility is up in the nation, you put all those together and we look like we're going to have a very deadly December ahead of us in terms of toll of coronavirus,' IHME director Dr Christopher Murray told CNN on Friday.
Messaging from the White House and US health officials is anything but united.
After interviews with journalist Bob Woodward revealed that Trump had called the pandemic 'deadly' in private while telling the public it was akin to the flu, the president noted during a Thursday press briefing that weekly new cases are now 44 percent lower than they were in July.
Dr Anthony Fauci called the rising daily infections 'disturbing' and said he disagreed with the president's optimism that the US is 'rounding a corner
Dr Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, refuted President Donald Trump who said the US was 'rounding the corner' on Thursday.
'I have to disagree with that, because, if you look at the thing that you just mentioned, the statistics ... they are disturbing,' Dr Fauci said on MSNBC. 'We're plateauing at around 40,000 cases a day. And the deaths are around a thousand.'
Dr Fauci said he hoped the country did not see a spike in cases after the Labor Day weekend as it did after other long holiday weekends since May.
It was important to get those infection rates down before the autumn and winter seasons when people will be spending more time indoors. 'You don't want to start off already with a baseline that's so high,' Dr Fauci said.
New daily cases of coronavirus have steadily declined since the July peak, when more than 77,000 new infections were recorded in a single day.
Yesterday saw 55 percent fewer new cases compared to the summer's peak and, while there have been spikes here and there, the trend since July has indisputably been a downward one.
Trump held an indoor campaign rally in Reno, Nevada, flouting the governor's order against gatherings of more than 50 people
As the curve has flattened, the hot spots driving increases have shifted dramatically.
The virus spread like wildfire first