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Tom Kertscher
By Tom Kertscher July 14, 2020

No, the US is not alone in facing a possible second wave of COVID-19 infections

If Your Time is short

  • Some say the United States is in a second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak, but many experts believe it is still in the first.

  • The United States is not alone in seeing a resurgence of coronavirus infections.

A proud supporter of President Donald Trump sees a political conspiracy behind the recent resurgence in coronavirus cases in the United States.

She claimed on Facebook:

"The reason no other Country on Earth is having a ‘second wave’ is because they are not trying to unseat a President in November."

The woman includes a photo of Trump in her Facebook profile, along with this message: "MAGA all day, every day! 🇺🇸♥️💯👍🏻Best President Ever."

The post, which has been shared tens of thousands of times, was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

There isn’t a precise definition of second wave. But the United States is not alone in experiencing an increase in COVID-19 cases.

What is a second wave?

As we’ve reported, the United States is arguably still in the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. In comments published June 16, Vice President Mike Pence argued there isn’t a second wave, while Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top federal infectious-disease expert, insisted: "We’re still in a first wave." 

There’s no official definition of when a "wave" begins or ends, but generally speaking, it requires a peak in infections followed by a substantial reduction. A new rise and peak would signal the start of another wave.

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The United States had a peak of infections in April, a small reduction, and then a new higher peak recently. On July 9, the date of the Facebook post, the COVID Tracking Project reported that for the third week in a row, the country set an all-time record for new COVID-19 cases, confirming more than 367,000 new infections. 

The project also reported that for the week ending July 9, the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 grew 18% and, for the first time since April, the number of deaths rose week-over-week.

Surges in other countries

Here are examples showing the United States isn’t alone:

  • Cases in 22 countries in Africa more than doubled over the last month, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota reported July 8.

  • Worldwide, of the 45 countries to have recorded more than 25,000 coronavirus cases to date, 21 currently have relaxed responses to the pandemic and, of these, 10 are reporting a rising number of cases, The Guardian newspaper reported June 25. The 10 included the United States, Germany and Switzerland.

  • "We all want to avoid whole countries going back into total lockdown, that is not a desire that anybody has. But there may be situations in which that is the only option," Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Program, said at a July 10 press conference.

Our ruling

"No other country" is having a "second wave" of COVID-19 "because they are not trying to unseat a President in November," a Facebook post claimed.

There is debate about whether the United States is in the first or the second wave of the coronavirus outbreak, although many experts say the first wave has not ended. Surges in new coronavirus cases have occurred in the United States, but in many other countries, as well.

We rate the statement False.

Our Sources

Facebook, post (archived here), July 9, 2020

PolitiFact, "Is a second wave of coronavirus coming?", June 22, 2020

YouTube, World Health Organization press conference (31:00), July 10, 2020

Covid Tracking Project, "Record New Cases, Surging Hospitalizations, Rising Deaths: This Week in COVID-19 Data, July 9," July 9, 2020

The Guardian, "Revealed: data shows 10 countries risking coronavirus second wave as lockdown relaxed," June 25, 2020

Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, "COVID-19 cases surge higher in Americas and African regions," July 8, 2020

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No, the US is not alone in facing a possible second wave of COVID-19 infections

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