A nurse watches an ambulance leaving Elmhurst Hospital, Queens, New York City, April 20, 2020 (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)
The US has set a new daily Coronavirus record for the fifth time in eight days, but Donald Trump insists the pandemic “will sort of just disappear”.
There were 52,058 confirmed cases on Wednesday, raising the total to 2,686,480. the death toll is now 128,062.
Texas again set a new daily record, with more than 8,000 cases, as did North Carolina and Tennessee.
While Florida did not set a new mark after four consecutive daily records last week, it had more than 6,500 new infections. Non-urgent elective surgeries were suspended, as the head of Miami-Dade County Hospital warned, “If the trends continue the way we are, we will be inundated.”
In Texas, the medical director of the Austin-Travis County Health Authority, said, “The cases continue to increase in a manner that we just cannot sustain.”
The leaders of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the actual number of Americans, symptomatic and asymptomatic, with the virus may be up to 20 million.
But Trump continued his five-month denial of the seriousness of the virus, telling Fox TV:
Trump ludicrously claimed to Fox Business just now that "I think we're gonna be very good with the coronavirus. I think that at some point that's going to sort of just disappear, I hope." (The virus will not disappear on its own.) pic.twitter.com/ZkLtjKUEDu
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 1, 2020
State and local leaders, as well as the White House’s medical advisors, swept aside Trump’s dismissal by rolling back the “reopening” that he is seeking for his re-election.
Pennsylvania’s government ordered the wearing of masks in public. New York City suspended a planned resumption of indoor service by restaurants. California halted indoor dining and shut down bars in most of the state. Miami Beach in Florida has reimposed a 12:30 am to 5 am curfew. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, a Trump ally, has bowed to the state’s record surge of more than 4,700 daily cases by closing water parks, bars, gyms, and movie theaters.
Vice President Mike Pence, who cancelled a campaign appearance in Arizona on Wednesday, tried to show Administration action by assuring Ducey that a request for 500 additional public health personnel will be met.
Trump Gives Way on Masks…A Bit
Trump’s only concession to the crisis was an easing of his refusal to wear a mask in public, following White House medical guidance.
For months, Trump has scoffed at wearing a mask, including at a failed high-profile campaign rally in Oklahoma earlier this month. His officials, notably Vice President Mike Pence, have also defied guidance in workplaces, hospitals, and meetings with campaign staff, some of whom have now tested positive.
But Senate Republicans chided Trump. Even Pence gave way, donning a mask during his Arizona trip.
Trump told Fox TV on Wednesday:
Well, I don’t know if you need mandatory [masks] because you have many places in the country where people stay very long distance. You talk about social distancing.
But I’m all for masks. I think masks are good. I would wear one if I were in a group of people and I was close.
He claimed that he had worn a mask on occaisions, but it was usually not necessary because he was regularly tested for the virus.
Countering his previous disdain of masks for affecting his appearance, he asserted that
“sort of liked” the way he looked: “I thought it looked OK. I looked like the Lone Ranger.”