(CNN)Vice President Mike Pence on Friday touted the US’ “steady decline” in coronavirus hospitalizations and fatalities, despite data showing several states have seen a rise in Covid-19 patients since the Memorial Day holiday and health officials warning the coronavirus death toll could increase in the months ahead.

“We’re seeing a steady decline in hospitalizations and most importantly, a steady decline in fatalities,” Pence told CNN’s Pittsburgh affiliate WPXI in an interview Friday, arguing that America is “safely reopening.”He described the recent increase in Covid-19 cases in some states as “a reflection of a dramatic increase in testing.””But we’re watching it very closely and we remain very confident that we have the hospital capacity, we have the resources to be able to deal with any specific outbreaks that could occur,” Pence told WPXI.Fauci says states should rethink reopenings if hospitalizations increase and urges Trump rally attendees to wear masksFauci says states should rethink reopenings if hospitalizations increase and urges Trump rally attendees to wear masksFauci says states should rethink reopenings if hospitalizations increase and urges Trump rally attendees to wear masksThe vice president’s optimism about the government’s response to the virus comes as health officials emphasize the importance of face coverings and continued social distancing.Read More”We know the pandemic is not over,” said Dr. Jay Butler, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deputy director for infectious diseases, during a call with reporters on Friday.A majority of states that had implemented stay-at-home orders are slowly lifting their restrictions that began in March and allowing more businesses to reopen.Covid-19 hospitalizations had gone up in at least a dozen states between May 25 and June 9, according to data aggregated by CNN from the Covid Tracking Project.As of Saturday, new coronavirus cases are trending downward in 21 states, while still increasing in 17 states — several of which have seen record or near-record highs.On Friday, for example, North Carolina saw its largest single-day increase in reported cases since the pandemic began. As of Saturday, nationally more than 2 million people have been infected by the virus and more than 114,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.The CDC projected Friday that the US could suffer 130,560 coronavirus deaths by July 4, with a possible range of 124,260 to 139,880 deaths.In an interview with CNN on Friday, Dr. Anthony Fauci cautioned states to rethink their reopening strategies if they see increases in the number of people hospitalized with Covid-19.

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https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/13/politics/pence-coronavirus-hospitalizations/index.html

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