WASHINGTON—On Sunday, May 17, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar said that thus far, authorities have not noticed any COVID-19 case spikes in places that are reopening.

As of Thursday, May 21, there have been almost 1.6 million confirmed COVID-19 cases nationwide – of which over 300,000 have recovered and close to 95,000 have been fatal.

“We are seeing that in places that are opening, we’re not seeing this spike in cases,” Azar said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program. “We still see spikes in some areas that are, in fact, closed.”

When CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Azar why the virus is “hitting our country so much harder than it’s hitting other countries,” Azar said that “we’re testing more than other countries… so we’re seeing a tremendous number of cases.” He also noted that extensive testing is being carried out on asymptomatic individuals too, unlike other nations.

The Secretary claimed that the United States delayed and flattened the epidemic curve through “historic border control measures” and “working with our healthcare systems, and our governors, [and] our heroic frontline healthcare workers.”

“While the burden has been tragic and terrible, it has remained within our healthcare system’s capacity,” Azar continued. “As the President said, we haven’t had any individuals to our knowledge who had to die because they didn’t have a ventilator or didn’t have an ICU bed, and that’s a really important measure of healthcare system resilience.”

This perseverance is, according to Azar, enabling the nation to venture towards reopening and gradually return to normalcy. 

Azar has not responded to Canyon News’s request for a comment.