“We’re not playing games or politics,” Nirenberg added.
As cases and hospitalizations rise in states across the South and West, new mask requirements are prompting faceoffs between officials who seek to require face coverings and those, particularly conservatives, who oppose such measures. Several studies this month support wearing masks to curb coronavirus transmission, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend their use as a protective measure.
Here are some significant developments:
- The World Health Organization warned Friday that “the world is in a new and dangerous phase” as the global pandemic accelerates. The world recorded about 150,000 new cases on Thursday, the largest rise yet in a single day, according to the WHO. More than 8.5 million coronavirus cases and at least 454,000 deaths have been reported worldwide.
- Case numbers hit record highs Friday in Florida, Arizona, Nevada and South Carolina as infections continue to surge in the South and West. Tulsa County in Oklahoma — where President Trump plans to hold a campaign rally Saturday — also hit a record high Friday.
- The CDC said Thursday that the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus could rise to as high as 145,000 by July 11, meaning as many as 26,000 Americans could die in the next few weeks.
- Brazil exceeded 1 million coronavirus cases Friday as the country continues to battle the world’s second-highest number of confirmed infections, after the United States. Deaths officially related to covid-19 are quickly approaching 50,000 in Brazil.
- The Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected a legal bid to stop Trump’s Tulsa rally over health concerns. The rally, which is expected to draw 19,000 people to the BOK Center in Tulsa, could worsen the pandemic in the city.
- Capt. Brett Crozier’s removal from command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt after he questioned the Navy’s handling of the outbreak on his ship has been upheld by Navy leaders.
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