Here are some key developments:
- The number of new coronavirus cases in Florida on Sunday exceeded 10,000 for the third time in a day last week after the state hit a record high of 11,458 the previous day. As a result of the new infections, the total number of cases in the state rose to over 200,000, a mark that was only exceeded by two other states, New York and California.
- Stephen Hahn, Commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration, said it was “too early to say”
- Some California cities resisted calls to contain public gatherings that could spread the virus. Lancaster ignored a ban on fireworks by Los Angeles County health officials, and several communities in the San Diego area kept their beach parking open despite the state urging them to close.
- Public health experts continued to push for misleading claims that the increase in cases was solely due to the expansion of testing capacity. “If the virus is under control, no other cases are found during testing. It’s an instrument to keep the epidemic at bay, ”said former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb.
Frustration over the pandemic response has increased among local leaders, who say they have had to deal with conflicting regulations and frequently changing policies from governors and the White House to curb rising infections.
After Texas posted another daily record for new coronavirus cases over the weekend, Austin Mayor Steve Adler (D) told CNN’s State of the Union that there weren’t enough medical personnel to take the lead in the To keep pace in cases where the rate of increase in his city continues unabated.
“If we don’t change that route, I’ll be within two weeks of our hospitals overflowing,” he said, adding that the ICUs in the city could be crowded within 10 days. He said he wasn’t sure if Texas needed a nationwide housing order, but he wanted the agency to impose one on the ground.
Hidalgo reiterated Alder’s concerns in an interview with ABC News’ “This Week,” saying hospitals in Harris County are entering spare capacity.
She said she was deprived of the authority to stay at home, as she did in the first weeks of the outbreak after Governor Greg Abbott (R) decided to pursue an aggressive reopening plan in the spring. All she could do now was make “recommendations” that weren’t nearly as effective, she said.
“As long as we do as little as possible and hope for the best, we will always pursue this thing, we will always lag behind and the virus will always overtake us,” said Hidalgo. “And now we have to do what works, what a home order is.”
In Florida, where a record number of cases were also reported on Saturday, Mayor of Miami Francis X. Suarez (R) said it was “clear that growth is exponential at this time”.
“There is no doubt that when we reopened, people started making contacts as if the virus didn’t exist,” he told ABC News. “It is extremely worrying.”
The Mayor of Phoenix, Kate Gallego (D), attributed the increasing case numbers in Arizona to the state’s decision to resume business as usual before the virus was under control. She noted that young people who ignored health precautions had probably led the explosion in some cases.
Gallego said federal officials rejected their requests to run community-based tests in the region after people reported that they were in line for six hours at some test sites. “We were told that they were moving away from it,” she said, “which feels like declaring victory while we are still in crisis mode.”
The warnings came after President Trump said on Saturday that his government had made “great strides” to slow the spread of the novel corona virus in the United States.
At an Independence Day event on the White House lawn, Trump said the country had “learned how to put out the corona virus flame.”
“Our strategy is progressing well,” he said, thanking the pandemic workers at the forefront for their work. “It ends in one area and shows its ugly face in another area. But we learned a lot. “
He also claimed that tests had led to new case numbers – a claim that has been refuted by rising positive rates and largely contested by epidemiologists – and said the country is making progress in developing therapeutics and a vaccine.
Nationwide, the rolling seven-day average for new cases reached a new high of 48,361 on Saturday, an increase of 11,740 over a week, according to the Washington Post. Eighteen countries also reported new average highs.
Officials continued to urge the public to wear masks, practice social distancing, and avoid large gatherings to prevent the virus from spreading deeper into communities. Several other major U.S. cities, including Cincinnati and Cleveland, have issued regulations that require people to wear face covers in public.
Elise Viebeck contributed to this report.