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More states return to containment measures as virus sets new records

The U.S. has set another record for daily new coronavirus infections -- as it has on six out of the past 10 days. Texas logged 10,000 new cases Thursday, and hospitals in Florida are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. With no signs of improvement in infection rates, more states are again implementing restrictions such as mask requirements and business shutdowns. Lisa Desjardins reports.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    More states are moving tonight to try to curb the surge of COVID-19.

    But for now, at least, infections keep reaching new levels, with no end in sight.

    Lisa Desjardins begins our coverage.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Every day this week, in just about every state, caseloads of the coronavirus have been rising. The nation as a whole has logged record numbers in six of the last 10 days.

    Texas is one of the hardest-hit states, with over 10,000 new cases of the virus yesterday, and the death toll surging past 100 per day. In Florida, patients are pouring into hospitals that once thought they had turned a page.

  • Dr. Andrew Patweski:

    We felt good for a while. We were able to close down the COVID ICU. We had all the COVID patients in one floor. We felt like we had a handle on it.

    And then we had to open up a second floor and a third floor. Now we're into a fourth and fifth floor. And we don't see it getting any better.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    In Orlando today, Governor Ron DeSantis again defended his decision to restart the economy in May.

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis:

    There was really no justification to not move forward because of the low, and that continued all through May, continued in the early part of June. And then we have now seen more cases and transmission at the exact same time that the rest of the Sunbelt is.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    But now more states are pivoting back to old containment measures. Mississippi's governor has now made face masks mandatory in 13 of the hardest-hit counties.

    Michigan has toughened its mandate that businesses deny service to those without a mask. New Mexico is canceling contact sports at high schools this fall, and banned indoor dining at restaurants. And Nevada ordered bars to close again starting tonight.

    Meanwhile, the American Academy of Pediatrics, plus two major teachers unions and a school superintendents organization, warned today against reopening schools this fall, unless local experts approve.

    President Trump has threatened to cut off federal funds for schools that don't reopen and criticized CDC guidelines as too onerous.

    Last night, he played down the severity of the virus' new surge in a phone interview with Fox News.

  • President Donald Trump:

    Literally, in most cases, they automatically cure, they automatically get better.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    The president also stepped up his criticism of Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's foremost infectious disease expert.

  • President Donald Trump:

    Dr. Fauci is a nice man, but he's made a lot of mistakes.

  • Lisa Desjardins:

    Fauci, in turn, told The Financial Times he hasn't briefed Mr. Trump for at least two months and they last saw each other in early June.

    Around the world, Australia, looking to contain a new outbreak in Melbourne, announced limits on how many of its own citizens will be allowed to return home from overseas each week.

    And Britain, slowly emerging from its lockdown, lifted a 14-day quarantine requirement for arriving travelers. Those rules, however, remain in place for those from higher-risk countries, including the U.S.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Lisa Desjardins.

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