USA

U.S. reports nationwide coronavirus case record heading into July 4

The United States reported a daily record in new coronavirus cases on Friday, with roughly 55,000 people confirmed to have been infected with the virus ahead of the July 4 holiday weekend, according to a Johns Hopkins University coronavirus tracker.

More than a dozen states, including Florida, California, Texas and Arizona, broke single-day records in new coronavirus cases this week. Those four states accounted for just under half of all new coronavirus cases reported Thursday, but most states are seeing infections climb.

The U.S. leads the world in confirmed infections and deaths, exceeding 50,000 new cases for the first time on Wednesday. Nearly 130,000 people have died in the U.S. since its first confirmed coronavirus case in January, and nearly 2.8 million people have been infected.

Health experts worry the traditional July 4 barbecues and fireworks displays will cause infections to further spike. Many states have halted plans to reopen restaurants and other businesses this week. Some states, including Texas and California, reimposed restrictions that had already been rolled back, shuttering bars and limiting seating in restaurants that had just reopened after months-long closures.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday issued a state-wide executive order requiring masks to be worn in public spaces after long resisting the measure.

Despite the coronavirus surge, President Donald Trump's outlook on the pandemic appears to remain rosy. Just a day after assuring Americans the White House is getting the pandemic "under control," the president touched down in South Dakota to give a speech at a July 4 event at Mount Rushmore, which expected to draw roughly 7,500 people. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said event attendees would not be required to wear masks or socially distance.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said earlier this week he would "not be surprised" if the U.S. began to see 100,000 new cases per day if current trends continue.

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