The U.S. has started to roll-back its reopening plans after an alarming surge in confirmed cases of COVID-19. Currently, 14 states are experiencing daily record-setting numbers for both cases and hospitalizations, pushing some systems to their brink.
In a report Thursday, TODAY examined some of the numerous causes, which included "COVID-19 parties," where people gathered to see who could catch the virus first. It also looked at many states, including Arizona, Texas and Florida, the latter of which is now considered the virus' new epicenter, citing their efforts to reverse course on re-opening as a means to slow the spread back down. Other states have implemented efforts ranging from contact-tracing to penalizing businesses that don't enforce safety protocols. It also pointed out that in the last eight days, five of them have set new records for confirmed cases across the U.S.
The United States set a new daily record for coronavirus cases, the fifth time in eight days. As cases spike, reopenings are being rolled back across the country. @KerryNBC has the latest. pic.twitter.com/SGnql8Op1f— TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 2, 2020
Of course, all this comes as the U.S. is nearing the 4th of July holiday weekend, which is typically synonymous with large get-togethers with family and friends. In order to avoid making the situation worse, some states like Texas have re-closed some businesses, including bars and music venues. Although ultimately it was an onslaught of criticism that prompted Vanilla Ice to postpone his concert set to be held in Austin, Texas Friday night.
Along with the concerns over record-setting case numbers, there's some concern within the White House regarding how President Donald Trump and his administration have handled the pandemic. As TODAY pointed out, Trump's remarks on Wednesday suggesting that the U.S. is "going to be very good with the coronavirus" and that at some point it would "sort of just disappear," were not taken well. Which is just the latest incident that earned Trump widespread criticism for.
Following Trump's evident lack of concern, several White House aides have encouraged him to avoid the issue entirely, including advisor/son-in-law Jared Kushner and counselor Hope Hicks. However, Vice President Mike Pence and trade adviser Peter Navarro are pushing for the opposite and encouraging him to take a more active role. Especially considering that the surge in cases across the U.S. is likely to continue for the time being.