Deeply alarming surges in coronavirus cases across the U.S. South and West are raising fears that the outbreak is spiraling out of control.
There’s also concern that hard-won progress against the scourge is slipping away because of resistance among many Americans to wearing masks and keeping their distance from others, report Tamara Lush, Nathan Ellgren and Tammy Webber.
Cases have surpassed 100,000 in Florida. Hospitalizations are rising dramatically in Houston, Texas. And more than 20% of those tested in Arizona were positive for COVID-19.
The US president Donald Trump faces a fresh examination of his ability to draw the crowds during a pandemic when he visits Arizona today after his sparsely attended weekend rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
The president’s smaller-than-expected-crowd in staunchly Republican Oklahoma has added further scrutiny to Trump’s visit to Arizona, which doubles as both a 2020 battleground state and a surging coronavirus hotspot, reports Jonathan Lemire.
Trump says the U.S. has done “too good a job” on testing for COVID-19. That’s even as his staff insists the president was only joking in Tulsa when he said he told aides to “slow the testing down, please.”
Fauci Testifies: Dr. Anthony Fauci is returning to Capitol Hill today at a fraught moment for the country’s pandemic response. Cases are rising in about half the states and political polarization is competing for attention with public health recommendations.
More news from the U.S.
Vacation Hotspots: People are flocking to South Carolina’s beaches after being cooped up for months. But the coronavirus isn’t taking a vacation. The state now has the fourth-highest new infection rate in the nation when adjusted for population, trailing just Arizona, Arkansas and Alabama.
Poultry: China’s decision to ban imports from a Tyson Foods poultry plant in Springdale, Arkansas, after a coronavirus outbreak there has raised concerns about the implications for the whole U.S. meat industry.
Reopening Schools: As U.S. schools consider how and when to reopen, many are finding themselves overwhelmed by the potential expenses needed for social distancing: protective equipment, staff for smaller classrooms and additional transportation to keep students spread out on bus rides.
@ AP Morning Wire