The number of coronavirus infections in the United States swelled enormously last month as states tried to relax quarantine rules and reopen their economies. More than 800,000 new cases were reported in June — led by Florida, Arizona Texas and California — bringing the nation’s officially reported total to just over 2.6 million.
Health officials are nervously eyeing the July 4 holiday weekend amid the surge. Though some beaches, including in South Florida and Los Angeles, have been closed, other oceanfront destinations have not. “We’re going to see several hundred thousand people come down here regardless of the recommendations that have come out,” Galveston Island Beach Patrol Chief Peter Davis told the Houston-based news station KHOU this week.
Health experts are pleading with Americans to take the pandemic seriously before it’s too late. The director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, Ashish K. Jha., said on “Good Morning America” Wednesday that every state should require people to wear masks. And Tom Freiden, the former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, wrote in an op-ed for Fox News that “the more we fight among ourselves, the more the virus divides and conquers us.”
At least 44,474 new coronavirus cases were reported in the United States on Tuesday, the second-highest total since the start of the pandemic, according to data collected by The Washington Post. More than 10.5 million cases have been detected worldwide.