Vice President Mike Pence has postponed campaign events in Florida and Arizona in light of the surge in coronavirus cases.
‘Vice President Pence will no longer participate in campaign events in Arizona and Florida this week,’ a Pence spokesperson told Fox News on Saturday.
‘This is related to coronavirus numbers increasing in those states.’
While the re-election events are postponed, the vice president will travel to Arizona, Florida, and Texas next week to meet with local officials, including the governors of those states, to discuss the progress being made in containing the viral outbreak.
The Trump administration has been criticized in recent days after the president held a campaign rally in Tulsa last Saturday and another event with supporters in Phoenix earlier this week despite the rising number of coronavirus cases.
Vice President Mike Pence (seen above in Washington, DC, on Friday) has postponed campaign events in Florida and Arizona due to the sharp rise in coronavirus cases, a spokesperson told Fox News on Saturday
A sign alerts motorists that visitors are not allowed on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in eastern Arizona due to COVID-19
Dozens of Secret Service employees and other administration staffers quarantined themselves after the Tulsa event, where campaign employees were feared to be exposed to infection.
At least eight White House staffers have tested positive for COVID-19 – even as the president tries to project an image of ‘business as usual.’
But the sharp spike in coronavirus cases has put the Trump administration in a political bind since the numbers clash with the push to reopen businesses in hopes of speeding up the economic recovery.`
Texas cities have begun issuing curfews and stay-at-home orders again after bars in the state were forced to close on Friday for a second time due to a surge in coronavirus cases, as the number of new infections in the US hits an all-time high.
The US recorded 45,242 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the largest single-day increase of the pandemic after at least five states including Florida, Utah, Tennessee, Georgia and Idaho saw record spikes.
Underscoring the worsening spread of the virus, Florida on Saturday morning reported 9,585 new infections in the last 24 hours, marking a record high for a second day, and 24 additional deaths.
The US death toll is now over 125,000, the highest in the world, with a total of 2.48million confirmed cases.
The new record for positive COVID-19 tests is a troubling sign that the country is regressing in its fight against the pandemic as some regions that appeared to have avoided the worst are now seeing cases emerge at an alarming rate and worries have shifted from major cities to rural areas.
Texas and Florida joined the small but growing list of states that are either backtracking or putting any further reopenings of their economies on hold because of a resurgence of the virus, mostly in the South and West.
FLORIDA: Coronavirus cases reached a new high in Florida for a second day on Saturday. On Friday, state officials told bars to immediately stop serving alcohol on their premises after infections surged
FLORIDA: Miami residents out and about on Ocean Drive on Friday amid a surge in coronavirus cases
TEXAS: Barstools are stacked at South Tyler Speakeasy in Tyler, TX, as word reached the bar of Gov. Greg Abbott’s morning announcement that bars must close at noon on Friday
TEXAS: A worker carries a piece of plywood in Austin after bars were forced to close for a second time as coronavirus infections continue to spread
FIVE STATES RECORD HIGHEST NUMBER OF COVID-19 CASES IN SINGLE DAY ON FRIDAY
- 676 new positive tests on Friday – up from earlier record of 643 last weekend
- Two new deaths
- 20,050 total confirmed cases
- 1,321 total hospitalizations
- 166 total deaths
Utah reported its highest number of COVID-19 cases on Friday with 676 new positive tests, up from 643 last weekend., and two deaths
- 1,410 new cases
- 10 new deaths
- 67 new hospitalizations (highest since early May)
- 13,114 confirmed cases
- 577 total deaths
Graph of Tennessee COVID-19 Case Count as of June 26, 2020
- 1,900 new cases
- 25 new deaths
- 10,605 new hospitalizations (increase of 148 in 24 hours)
- 72,995 confirmed cases
- 2,770 total deaths
Graph of Georgia COVID-19 Cases over time from June 27, 2020
- 283 new cases
- 5,148 total cases
- 90 total deaths
Graph of Idaho COVID-19 Case Count as of June 27, 2020
- 9,585 new cases
- 24 new deaths
- 132,545 total cases
- 3,390 total deaths
FLORIDA: On Saturday, the state reported 9,585 new infections in the last 24 hours, marking a record high for a second day, and 24 additional deaths. In total, the state has reported 132,545 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and at least 3,390 coronavirus-related deaths so far
In a reversal of his early moves to relax restrictions, Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Friday ordered bars across the state to close and required restaurants to limit indoor seating capacity to 50 per cent, after the state had been among the first in the country to begin lifting its lockdown measures on May 1.
He also said rafting and tubing outfitters on Texas’ popular rivers must close and that outdoor gatherings of 100 people or more must be approved by local governments.
Local governments within the state have since begun imposing restrictions again as they scramble to contain outbreaks.
In Galena Park, a small city of 10,000 people on the outskirts of Houston, officials have implemented a curfew starting on Saturday night that will run from 10pm to 5am daily.
Mayor Esmeralda Moya she was heeding a warning from Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, who on Friday raised the public threat level to its most severe, a sign people should shelter at home.
‘It is crucial to continue to practice good hygiene, stay home as much as possible, avoid unnecessary trips, gatherings, and wear a face-covering at all times when you leave your home,’ Moya said.
Further south in Hidalgo County, located just above the Mexican border, officials imposed a curfew from 10pm to 6am and restricted mass gatherings to groups of ten or less on Thursday.
County Judge Richard F. Cortez said the decision comes amid a ‘concerning’ number of new infections and residents neglecting coronavirus health measures.
Texas has reported more than 17,000 confirmed new cases in the last three days with a record high positive tests of 5,996 on Thursday and 5,707 on Friday
TEXAS: Rafting and tubing outfitters on Texas’ popular rivers were ordered to close and outdoor gatherings of 100 people or more must be approved by local governments
TEXAS: Texas Governor Greg Abbott gave bars in the state until midday on Friday to close down as officials scramble to contain outbreaks amid record spikes in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Pictured above is the crowded Handlebar in Houston, Texas last month
‘It appears that despite the rise in infections, that residents have not taken proper precautions in protecting their friends and family from this disease,’ Cortez said in a release.
Texas reported more than 17,000 new cases in the past three days, with a record high of 5,996 on Thursday followed by another 5,707 on Friday.
The second-largest state also sets records daily for hospitalizations, surpassing 5,000 coronavirus patients for the first time Friday.
Until now, Abbott had pursued one of the most aggressive reopening schedules of any governor.
The Republican not only resisted calls to order masks be worn but also refused until last week to let local governments take such measures.
‘As I said from the start, if the positivity rate rose above 10 per cent, the State of Texas would take further action to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,’ Abbott said.
‘At this time, it is clear that the rise in cases is largely driven by certain types of activities, including Texans congregating in bars.’
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, a Democrat who is the county’s top official, criticized Abbott for ignoring experts’ advice and not acting fast enough in implementing restrictions to help contain outbreaks.
‘The doctors told us at the time, and told anyone who would listen, this will be a disaster. And it has been,’ Jenkins said.
VIRGINIA: Residents bask in the sun and lay out on the sand at Chincoteague beach on Saturday amid the coronavirus pandemic
VIRGINIA: Beachgoers enjoy the sunshine in Chicoteague despite the ongoing pandemic still ravaging the country
The state’s rolling infection rate hit nearly 12 percent, a level not seen since the state was in a broad lockdown in mid-April.
Abbott quickly struck a newly urgent tone this week, urging people to stay home while warning that a ‘massive outbreak’ is sweeping through Texas.
He has also now urged Texans to wear masks in public but stopped short of issuing a statewide mask order.
Florida, another state that reopened its economy relatively quickly, also ordered bar owners to immediately stop serving alcohol on their premises on Friday after the daily number of new confirmed cases neared 9,000, almost doubling the record set just two days earlier.
In total, Florida has 132,545 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and at least 3,390 coronavirus-related deaths so far.
Governor Ron DeSantis has been lifting restrictions more slowly than a task force recommended but has allowed theme parks to reopen, encouraged professional sports to come to Florida and pushed for the GOP convention to be held in the Sunshine State.
He joined other Republicans who claimed the uptick has come from an increase in testing.
However, the Miami Herald reports that through June 3, new cases had consistently trended upwards since mid-May, and the influx could not be attributed solely to increased testing.
DeSantis also blamed new cases on ‘overwhelmingly Hispanic laborers,’ because of migrant workers forced to live and work in cramped conditions. Farm workers’ associations hit back at the governor, saying he has repeatedly ignored their pleas to help the vulnerable demographic.
FLORIDA: Miami residents are itching for a good time after months of lockdown as they are seen in line to enter a restaurant on Ocean Drive on Friday
FLORIDA: Crowds of young people were seen not social distancing on the beach in Miami as Florida reports more than 9,500 new coronavirus infections
Gimenez tweeted that he consulted with county health officials before deciding to sign the emergency order and said he might extend the beach closures if people don’t wear masks inside businesses and when they are unable to practice social distancing of six feet
TEXAS: Gov Abbott blamed the rise in cases on ‘Texans congregating in bars.’ Pictured: Matthew Gaskamp, General Manager of The Lodge, boards up his bar on East 6th Street in Austin on Friday
The governor resisted calls again on Friday to mandate masks statewide.
‘We are where we are,’ DeSantis said, adding that many of the new cases are in younger, healthier people who are out socializing more.
He said people can avoid spreading the virus by wearing masks, along with avoiding big crowds and not being within close quarters with lots of other people indoors.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has taken measures into his own hands as he announced plans to issue an emergency order closing down the county’s beaches during the Fourth of July weekend.
Governor Greg Abbott gave bars in Texas until midday on Friday to close down. Texas had been at the forefront of states peeling away restrictions designed to control the deadly pandemic and kickstart their economies again. Gov Abbott allowed bars to reopen in May when revelers flouting social distancing rules celebrated Memorial Day weekend
Gimenez warned that he may extend the shutdown if ‘conditions do not improve and people do not follow New Normal rules requiring masks to be worn always inside commercial establishments and outdoors when social distancing of at least 6 feet is not possible,’ in a statement about the order.
The mayor claimed he had seen both businesses and people ignoring safety measures against infection.
‘If people are not going to be responsible and protect themselves and others from this pandemic, then the government is forced to step in and restore common sense to save lives,’ Gimenez said.
His order, he said, will follow Centers for Disease Control recommendations and also ban gatherings, including parades, of more than 50 people in Miami-Dade ‘for whatever reason from July 3 to 7.’
He explained that ‘in those situations,’ masks and social distancing are required and five groups of no more than 10 people will be allowed.
His order also will impact fireworks viewing in celebration of the Fourth of July.
‘All parks and beaches will be closed to the public in all cities and unincorporated areas of the county to public viewing of fireworks. Fireworks displays must be viewed from one’s home or parked vehicle,’ he said.
Health experts have said a disturbingly large number of cases are being seen among young people who are going out again, often without wearing masks or observing other social-distancing rules.
A number of the hardest-hit states, including Arizona and Arkansas, have Republican governors who have resisted mask-wearing requirements and have largely echoed President Donald Trump’s desire to reopen the economy quickly amid warnings the virus could come storming back.
Many rural counties in states including California, Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Texas and Florida have seen their confirmed cases more than double in a week, from June 19 to Friday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.
FLORIDA: Florida’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation told bars to immediately stop serving alcohol on their premises on Friday. Pictured is Lynch’s Irish Pub in Jacksonville Beach where several people tested positive for the virus after going to the bar
TEXAS: Revelers crowded into this Whiskey Tango Foxtrot bar in Austin, Texas last month after Gov Abbott initially lifted restrictions
The White House coronavirus taskforce led by Pence, held its first briefing in nearly two months, and Pence gave assurances that the US is ‘in a much better place’ than it was two months ago.
The count of new confirmed infections, provided by Johns Hopkins University, eclipsed the previous high of 36,400, set on April 24, during one of the deadliest stretches.
Newly reported cases per day have risen on average about 60 percent over the past two weeks, according to an Associated Press analysis.
At the task force briefing, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, urged people to mind their responsibility to others: ‘A risk for you is not just isolated to you.’
Deaths from the coronavirus in the U.S. are running at about 600 per day, down from a peak of around 2,200 in mid-April.
Some experts have expressed doubt that deaths will return to that level, because of advances in treatment and prevention and because younger adults are more likely than older ones to survive.
In a reversal of fortune, New York said it is offering equipment and other help to Arizona, Texas and Florida, noting that other states came to its aid when it was in the throes of the deadliest outbreak in the nation this spring.
‘We will never forget that graciousness, and we will repay it any way we can,’ Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.
Under the newest rollbacks in Texas, bars must close from noon on Friday and restaurant dining rooms must scale back to half capacity starting on Monday. Pictured above are two packed bars in Austin, Texas last month
The US death toll is now over 125,000, the highest in the world, with a total of 2.48million confirmed cases
Fauci pleads with young people who feel ‘invulnerable’ to the coronavirus to consider who they might harm if they catch it at bars in restaurants
Dr. Anthony Fauci offered a stark warning to young Americans Friday about the role they might play in the spread of the coronavirus, even if they consider themselves unlikely to suffer the worst effects of the disease.
‘If you get infected you are part innocently or inadvertently of propagating the dynamic processes of a pandemic,’ he said.
Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, made a point of addressing remarks to young people at the first coronavirus task force briefing in two months.
There has been a sharp drop in the age of infected people, and multiple officials warned Friday about concerns younger people would transmit the virus amid states opening up and relaxing social distancing.
‘When you have an outbreak of an infectious disease, it’s a dynamic process that is global,’ Fauci said.
‘I just want to bring this out without making it seem that anybody is at fault, you have an individual responsibility to yourself – but you have a society responsibility, because if we want to end this outbreak, really end it and then hopefully when a vaccine comes and puts the nail in the coffin – we’ve got the realize that we are part of the process.’
‘When you get infected, you will infect someone else who clearly will infect someone else,’ he said.
Fauci said the most challenging thing about COVID-19 was the high percentage of people who don’t show symptoms but still spread the virus.
That means young people going out to restaurants or bars as states reopen could be spreading the virus without even knowing it.
Arizona Gov Doug Ducey, also a Republican, is also telling residents to stay home and on Thursday declared the state was ‘on pause’ as hospitals accelerate toward capacity.
The number of infections in Arizona surged again on Thursday with just over 3,000 new cases reported. In Arizona, 23 percent of tests conducted over the past seven days have been positive, nearly triple the national average.
There are currently 4,400 people hospitalized in the state with coronavirus and 1,400 of those are in ICU beds. A record 415 patients are on ventilators in the state.
Arizona is nearing hospital bed capacity with 88 percent of ICU beds occupied as of Thursday.
In Arizona, Ducey had resisted pressure to close restaurants as the virus first spread back in March, saying the state wasn’t seeing explosive growth like New York and didn’t need to act so aggressively. The Democratic mayors of Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff and elsewhere imposed their own restrictions.
The governor responded with an executive order closing restaurants in counties with known coronavirus infections but also defining some businesses cities couldn’t restrict, including golf courses.
Last week, under extreme pressure to act as COVID-19 cases soar, Ducey gave local leaders the power to require masks, while avoiding making it a statewide mandate.
The numbers ‘continue to go in the wrong direction,’ Ducey said on Thursday.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, has warned of another potential lockdown due to surging cases in his state. He said he would only shut down businesses again if the health care system became seriously strained.
In California, 5,349 new cases were reported on Thursday – down from the record 7,100 new cases a day earlier. Hospitalizations have also reached record highs across the state with about 1,500 suspected or confirmed patients requiring intensive care.
While Newsom said part of the rise was due to testing, much is the result of people failing to engage in safe practices when gathering with friends and family, or visiting newly reopened businesses.
Los Angeles County now has the most cases of all US counties with more than 85,000 confirmed infections. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti this week urged residents to stay home and wear masks while out in public.
As an alarming coronavirus resurgence sets records for confirmed cases and hospitalizations across the South and West, governors are retreating to measures they once resisted and striking a more urgent tone.
‘I think they’re going to have to,’ said Dr Mark McClellan, former head of the Food and Drug Administration. ‘It doesn’t take most people in a community getting sick to overwhelm health care systems.’
Critics bristle that the actions are too little, or worse, possibly too late as patients fill up intensive-care beds and the US closes in on hitting all-time highs for daily confirmed cases.
While newly confirmed infections have been declining steadily in early hot spots like New York and New Jersey, several other states set single-day records this week, including Arizona, California, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas and Oklahoma. Some of them also broke hospitalization records, as did North Carolina and South Carolina.
ARIZONA CASES: The number of infections in Arizona surged again on Thursday with just over 3,000 new cases reported
ARIZONA DEATHS: Arizona recorded 27 new deaths on Thursday, compared to the 67 deaths recorded on May 8
ARIZONA HOSPITALS: There are currently 4,400 people hospitalized in the state with coronavirus and 1,400 of those are in ICU beds
ARIZONA ICU CAPACITY: Arizona is nearing hospital bed capacity with 88 percent of ICU beds occupied as of Thursday
CALIFORNIA: In California, 5,349 new cases were reported on Thursday – down from the record 7,100 new cases a day earlier. Hospitalizations have also reached record highs across the state with about 1,500 suspected or confirmed patients requiring intensive care