(Reuters) – A half-dozen US states in the south and west on Tuesday reported records of one-day coronavirus deaths and cases in Texas passed the 400,000 mark when California health authorities said they Latinos accounted for more than half of their cases.
FILE PHOTO: Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) Hang Out With A Patient At North Shore Medical Center Where Patients With Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Are Treated, In Miami, Florida, USA, 14 Dec July 2020. REUTERS / Maria Alejandra Cardona
Arkansas, California, Florida, Montana, Oregon and Texas reported record spikes in deaths.
In the United States, more than 1,300 lives were lost across the country on Tuesday, the biggest one-day increase since May, according to a Reuters count.
California health authorities said Latinos, who make up just over a third of the most populous state in the U.S., account for 56% of COVID-19 infections and 46% of deaths. Cases are on the rise in the Central Valley agricultural region, with its heavily Latino population, overwhelming hospitals. The state reported 171 deaths Tuesday.
Florida saw 191 coronavirus deaths in the past 24 hours, the state health department said.
Texas added more than 6,000 new cases on Monday, bringing its total to 401,477, according to a Reuters count. Only three other states, California, Florida and New York, have more than 400,000 cases in total. All four are the most populous states in the United States.
California and Texas reported declines in hospitalizations overall, as Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the leading experts on infectious diseases in the US, saw signs that the increase may be peaking in the South and west, while other areas were on the cusp of new outbreaks.
Fauci said early indications showed that the percentage of positive coronavirus tests increased in Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee and Kentucky.
STRUGGLE OF THE UNION OF TEACHERS
Rising deaths and infections in the United States have lowered initial hopes that the country has overcome the worst economic crisis that has decimated businesses and left millions of Americans out of work.
The trend has fueled a bitter debate over the reopening of schools in the coming weeks. President Donald Trump and members of his administration have lobbied for students to return to class, while some teachers and local officials have called for online learning.
“We will fight on all fronts for the safety of the students and their educators,” Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said during the union’s virtual convention on Tuesday. “It is hour 11; we need the resources now. ”
The Texas Education Agency, the state’s public education supervisor, said it would deny funds to schools that delay classes in person due to orders from local health authorities related to the pandemic.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has issued a guide to prevent health authorities from imposing “general” school closings for coronavirus prevention. Any such decision rests with school officials, he said.
Local health leaders in the largest metropolitan areas of Texas, including Houston and Dallas, have recently ordered the postponement of in-person classes.
In Washington, some Republicans in the US Senate rejected their own party’s $ 1 trillion coronavirus relief proposal the day after it was submitted by majority leader Mitch McConnell, who weighed in on American stocks.
“I’m not about to borrow another trillion dollars,” Republican Senator Rand Paul told reporters.
Democrats have dismissed the plan as too limited compared to its $ 3 billion proposal that was approved by the House of Representatives in May. Some Republicans called it too expensive.
Trump said Tuesday that he did not support everything in the Republican Senate coronavirus relief legislation, but would not elaborate.
“There are also things that I very much support,” he said in a White House briefing. “But we will be negotiating.”
Trump also complained about Fauci’s high approval ratings and joked saying “nobody likes me” as he struggles to improve his position with voters on his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It can only be my personality,” Trump said.
(GRAPH: Tracking the New Coronavirus in the US, Here)
(GRAPH: Where coronavirus cases are increasing in the United States, here)
Reports by Susan Heavey, Daniel Trotta, Patricia Zengerle, David Morgan, Lisa Shumaker, Maria Caspani, Brendan O’Brien, Sharon Bernstein and Dan Whitcomb; Written by Paul Simao and Dan Whitcomb; Leslie Adler and Christian Schmollinger edition