(Reuters) – More than 60,500 new COVID-19 infections were reported Thursday in the United States, according to a Reuters count, setting a record one day as weary Americans were asked to take new precautions. and the pandemic is increasingly politicized.
FILE PHOTO: Hundreds of people line up outside the Kentucky Career Center, more than two hours before opening, to find help with their unemployment claims, in Frankfort, Kentucky, USA, June 18, 2020. REUTERS / Bryan Woolston
The total represents a slight increase from Wednesday, when there were 60,000 new cases, and marks the largest one-day increase in any country since the pandemic in China emerged last year.
As infections increased in 41 of the 50 states in the past two weeks, Americans have become increasingly divided on issues like reopening schools and businesses. Orders of local governors and leaders who impose face masks have become particularly divisive.
“It is discouraging because the selfishness of (not wearing a mask) versus the disinterest of my staff and the people in this hospital who are putting themselves at risk, and I got COVID of this,” said Dr. Andrew Pastewski, medical director of the ICU. at Jackson South Medical Center in Miami.
“You know, we are putting ourselves at risk and other people are not willing to do anything and, in fact, are going in the opposite direction and are aggressive in promoting the disease. It is really, it is really difficult, ”she said.
Stephanie Porta, 41, a lifelong resident of Orlando, Florida, said only half of shoppers at her supermarket wore masks, although that was more than she saw two weeks ago.
“They are trying to make everything seem normal, when it is not. People die, people get sick. It’s crazy, “she said.
Florida announced nearly 9,000 new cases and 120 new deaths from coronavirus on Thursday, a record daily increase in lives lost. Governor Ron DeSantis called the increasing cases a “problem” and urged residents not to be afraid.
“I know we have had a lot of different problems,” said DeSantis. “We are now at a higher point than in May and early June.”
Florida is one of the few states that does not disclose the number of patients hospitalized with COVID. But more than four dozen Florida hospitals reported that their intensive care units reached full capacity earlier this week.
In Texas, a group of bar owners sued Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, saying that his June 26 closing order violates the state constitution, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Thursday that keeping schools closed would be a greater risk to children’s health than reopening them.
California and Texas, the two most populous states, announced record increases in COVID deaths on Wednesday.
California has seen cases and hospitalizations emerge, even though it imposed one of the strictest blockades. After several lawmakers and staff members of the state Capitol in Sacramento became infected, lawmakers said the legislature would not return from summer vacation until July 27.
The Riverside University Health System, east of Los Angeles, expanded its 44-bed intensive care unit after it was filled with patients.
“He has been very consistent every day for the past few weeks. Every day has been like a full moon, ”said Riverside ER doctor Stephanie Loe, referring to doctors’ beliefs that a full moon brings more patients to the emergency room.
The governors of California, Florida and Texas have ruled out forced business closings and quarantines or called them a last resort. But Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti warned he would impose a new order to stay home in two weeks if the latest increase didn’t go down.
The increase in infections also weighed on the stock market on Thursday for fear of further blockages, which would affect the economic recovery. The Dow .DJI and S&P 500 .SPX ended at approximately 1%.
Reports by Omar Younis in Los Angeles, Rich McKay in Atlanta and Sharon Bernstein in Sacramento, California; Additional reports by Lucia Mutikani in Washington and Maria Caspani and Sinead Carew in New York; Written by Lisa Shumaker and Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Cynthia Osterman, Daniel Wallis and Leslie Adler