Covid-19 surge in the United States dampens Independence Day

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Florida and Texas reported a record number of new Covid-19 infections on Saturday, as an increase in the number of cases in the country has forced the cancellation of many Independence Day celebrations – with the exception of two fireworks organized by Donald Trump.

In addition, 11,458 people in Florida have tested positive in the past 24 hours, the state health department reported on Saturday morning. This is a record for the state, which has seen an increase in coronavirus cases in recent weeks.

This was the second increase in a day from all states other than New York, which reported a daily increase of 11,571 on April 15 in the depths of its public health crisis, according to Financial Times analysis from Covid Tracking Project data.

Texas reported 8,258 new cases on Saturday, a one-day state record. California reported 6,510 new cases, in line with the last few days, while Arizona reported a slight improvement with 2,695 additional infections.

The coronavirus epidemic has worsened across the United States “sunbelt” – notably in Florida, California, Texas, Arizona and Georgia – in recent weeks. The push has forced many states to reverse their efforts to reopen their economies.

The United States leads the world in confirmed coronavirus cases, followed by Brazil and Russia, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, which shows that the number of cases worldwide now exceeds 11 million. The UK leads Europe, with more than 286,000 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins. Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers reopened in England on Saturday.

On Friday, one day before the July 4 vacation, the United States announced its highest total on a day for new Covid-19 cases, which commemorate the signing in 1776 of the Declaration of Independence.

But the pandemic did not stop Trump from marking the occasion with a celebration at Mount Rushmore in South Dakota on Friday evening, and another on the White House lawn on Saturday. Most of those present at the events did not appear to be wearing masks, despite warnings from public health officials.

Standing in front of the sculpture of American Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, Mr. Trump delivered a political speech of division in which he denounced a “merciless campaign to erase our history” by what he has described as “far – left fascism”.

“Angry crowds are trying to demolish the statues of our founders, disfigure our most sacred monuments and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities,” added the president.

The president returned to the White House in the wee hours of Saturday morning, before a July 4 celebration in Washington that evening, where he delivered a similar message.

The event took place despite objections from public health officials and Muriel Bowser, Democratic Mayor of Washington, DC.

Because the celebration took place on federal rather than urban grounds, Ms. Bowser has no jurisdiction over the event. But she warned of the public health risks of such a large gathering at a time when local regulations encourage people to continue social distancing and to avoid gathering in confined spaces with more than 50 people.

The United States Department of the Interior has said that more than 300,000 fabric facings will be available and distributed to visitors on the National Mall.

The Trump campaign announced on Saturday morning that it would “use aerial advertising” in 13 locations across the United States over the holiday weekend, with planes carrying “Keep America Great Again” banners overhead. popular beaches.

“President Trump respects the American flag and defends the great history of our nation,” said Tim Murtaugh, director of communications for the re-election of the president. “On Independence Day, the Trump team will display banners across the country to remind Americans that President Trump will always stand up for the freedom and freedom we all enjoy. “

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