The leaderless United States is headed for a COVID-19 catastrophe -- and president Donald Trump is nowhere to be found.

But it might now be too late for Trump or any of his lieutenants to prevent the U.S. from plunging straight into a pandemic disaster. COVID-19 cases are threatening to spiral out of control after states, with Trump's consent, began to reopen their economies far too early in violation of federal safety guidelines.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on Monday declared COVID-19 is spreading too rapidly and too broadly for the U.S. to now bring it under control. This is really the beginning of the ongoing surge that's seen new cases skyrocket to new highs in Florida, Texas and California over the past two weeks. A total of 31 states are now reporting higher cases this week than a week ago.

Dr. Schuchat said there are a lot of worrisome factors about the last week or so when the spike began to climb. She noted the U.S. response to the ongoing surge is being made more difficult by the massive size of the country, and the fact the disease is raging in different parts of the country at different times.

She said what they have in the United States is hard to describe because it's so many different outbreaks.  She pointed out that in most of the rest of the U.S., there's still a lot of virus and in many places, there's more virus circulating than there was before.

Dr. Schuchat said the disease has proven to be the kind of virus she and her colleagues always feared would emerge. She explained COVID-19 spreads easily and is, in fact, stealthier than they were expecting.

The speed of the disease's spread means the U.S. public should expect this virus to continue to circulate. She said Americans can help curb the spread of the disease by practicing social distancing, wearing masks and washing their hands. She warned Americans can't count on any kind of relief to stop the disease until there's a vaccine.

The new attack by COVID-19 on the U.S. means the country still leads the world in the number of confirmed cases and deaths. As of Tuesday afternoon (Hong Kong time), the U.S. reported 2.7 million cases and 129,000 deaths, according to Worldometer.

On May 25, the U.S. reported 1.7 million cases and 99,000 deaths. Confirmed cases skyrocketed by one million cases and 30,000 deaths in the space of only 34 days, a horrific fact that can be blamed on states unwisely reopening their economies far too early.