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U.S. COVID-19 Deaths Near 130,000; Florida And Texas Report Record Case Numbers

People visit Jacksonville Beach on Saturday in Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Coronavirus cases are spiking in states including Florida, Texas and Arizona.
Image credit: Sam Greenwood

Nearly 130,000 people in the United States have died from the coronavirus and more than 2,800,000 people have been infected, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Both Florida and Texas reported their biggest daily rise in new confirmed cases over the past few days, with Florida reporting 11,443 new resident cases on Saturday and another 9,999 on Sunday. Texas reported a record 8,258 new cases on Saturday followed by 3,449 on Sunday. California reported 5,410 new cases on Sunday and Arizona reported 3,536 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday.

“I will tell you, a month ago one in 10 people were testing positive. Today, it’s one in four,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner told CBS. “The number of people who are getting sick and going to the hospitals has exponentially increased. The number of people in our ICU beds has exponentially increased. In fact, if we don’t get our hands around this virus quickly, in about two weeks our hospital system could be in serious, serious trouble.”

At least two counties in South Texas say they have hospitals already at full capacity. This comes after officials in Texas, California and Arizona rolled back their reopening plans. In Florida, however, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said last week that the state was “not going back” on reopening, saying younger people were driving the spike but that they were at lesser risk than older people.

Republican Miami Mayor Francis X. Suarez called the growth “extremely worrisome,” and said the growth was partially due to the early reopening of the state.

“There’s no doubt that the fact that when we reopened, people started socializing as if the virus didn’t exist,” he told ABC News.

Democratic Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego told ABC News that the state may have opened up too quickly, and criticized the federal government’s response to the virus and the lack of testing across the state. The Arizona Republic reported that in some cases, people have had to wait in line for 13 hours to be tested.

“We opened way too early in Arizona,” Gallego said. “We were one of the last states to go to stay-at-home and one of the first to reemerge. And we reemerged at zero to 60.”

In response to the surging cases in Arizona, authorities in Mexico tightened restrictions on some border crossings over the weekend and closed popular beaches to limit nonessential holiday travel.

At the same time, President Trump said Saturday that, while cases are increasing, his administration has made “a lot of progress” slowing the spread of the virus. He blamed the increase of cases with the increase of testing, which experts argue is an incorrect evaluation of the spread of the disease.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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