In our news wrap Thursday, the U.S. saw a record 50,000 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day as infections rise in 40 states. Florida set its own record for new cases with more than 10,000 -- but Gov. Ron DeSantis insisted the state is equipped to handle the crisis. Also, there were signs of U.S. economic recovery, with the Labor Department reporting the country added 4.8 million jobs in June.
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The COVID-19 pandemic has surged to new highs, as the U.S. marked more than 50,000 additional cases in a single day, a new record. Infections have spiked in 40 of the 50 states.
One of those states is Florida, which set its own new daily record today, with more than 10,000 new cases.
Governor Ron DeSantis insisted that Florida is equipped to handle the crisis.
Gov. Ron DeSantis:
If you go back to March, when we kind of faced the initial wave of this, we had very few tests relative to what we have now. Now hospitals test. Anyone that comes in for something, they can test. We — between the state, we're doing between 10,000, 15,000 tests a day at all the different sites.
Also today, Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a statewide order that face masks must be worn in public in counties with more than 20 coronavirus cases. That amounts to nearly 75 percent of all the counties in the state. He'd previously insisted that the government couldn't order people to wear masks.
Despite this, there were signs of economic recovery today. The Labor Department reported that the U.S. economy added 4.8 million jobs in the month of June, helping the nation's unemployment rate fall to 11.1 percent.
However, that recovery may be short-lived, now that a surge in COVID-19 cases has triggered a new wave of closures.
Even so, President Trump sounded optimistic.
President Donald Trump:
Eighty percent of small businesses are now open, 80 percent. And we think we're going to have some very good numbers in the coming months, because others are opening, and especially as we put the flame out. We're getting rid of the flame that's happening.
There are still nearly 15 million fewer jobs in June than there were back in February, before the pandemic forced mass closures.
Meanwhile, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, said that Americans would be better off had the president taken swifter action against COVID-19.
Former Vice President Joe Biden:
We're still in a deep, deep job hole, because Donald Trump has so badly bungled the response to the coronavirus, and now has basically giving up on responding at all.
You know, a million more Americans would — millions of them would still have their job if Donald Trump had done his job.
We will take a closer look at today's unemployment picture after the news summary.
The upbeat jobs report boosted stocks on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 92 points to close at 25827. The Nasdaq rose 53 points, and the S&P 500 added 14.
The Supreme Court today agreed to hear whether the House of Representatives can access secret grand jury material from special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe. The Trump administration had appealed a lower court's order for the documents to be turned over to the Democratic-controlled House. Today's move means that Congress will not likely see the documents until after the November election.
The Supreme Court also ordered lower courts to reconsider two cases stemming from restrictive abortion laws in Indiana that had previously been blocked by courts. One required women to get an ultrasound before the procedure. The other expanded parental notifications when minors seek an abortion. The move comes just days after the high court struck down a Louisiana law that regulated abortion clinics.
A New York judge ruled overnight that a tell-all book by President Trump's niece can move forward. The decision overturned a lower court's temporary hold. The president's brother had sued to stop its release, arguing that it would violate a family confidentiality agreement. But now the book will be published later this month.
In Myanmar, rescue workers recovered the bodies of more than 160 people who died in a landslide at a jade mine. Heavy rain caused a heap of mining waste to collapse into a lake. The wave of mud engulfed scores of freelance miners scavenging the area. The poorly regulated jade mines in Myanmar's northern Kachin State are the most lucrative in the world.
A building caught fire at Iran's Natanz nuclear plant today. U.S.-based analysts told the Associated Press they believe the site was a new centrifuge production facility. The underground plant is used to enrich uranium. Iranian officials insisted that there wasn't major damage or radiation leaks.
And a passing to note. Broadcast TV veteran Hugh Downs died of natural causes Wednesday at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona. His career spanned seven decades and included co-anchoring NBC's "Today Show" and the ABC Newsmagazine "20/20." He also hosted the PBS series "Over Easy" and "Live From Lincoln Center."
Hugh Downs was 99 years old.